Bhopal: MP Ex-IPS officers, collectors, EE booked for causing Rs 4 cr loss to exchequer

BHOPAL: Special Police Establishment of Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta has registered an FIR against former senior IPS officer Arun Gurtu and six IAS officers of the state cadre for causing loss to the tune of around Rs 4 crore to the state exchequer.

The IAS officers include district collectors of Ujjain who served between 2006 and 2016. In addition, all the executive engineers (EE) of PWD posted in the during this period have also been named in the FIR.

According to official information, in 2006 the state government had inked an MoU with a company Yash Airways. Under the MoU, the government airstrip at Datana near Ujjain was leased out to the company for a period of ten years. In return for using the facility, the company was to pay an annual lease rent to the government. The Company was also required to maintain the airstrip and create the necessary infrastructure including construction of ATC tower and boundary wall for upgrading the airstrip to an airport.

The MoU provided that if the company failed to do the necessary construction and repair work, the state PWD would do the job and the expenses would be recovered from the company.

However, Yash Airways paid the lease rent for only one year and thereafter, used the airstrip for free. The successive collectors of Ujjain did not make any effort to realise the dues from the company. Even notices were not issued to it. The company defaulted on payment of Rs 7.5 lakh as lease rent.

Further, the PWD carried out repair, maintenance and construction work on the airstrip after the company failed to do it. The work cost a total of Rs 2.3 crore. However, the amount was not recovered from the company, as stipulated in the MoU. The PWD executive engineers posted in Ujjain during the period in question were responsible for not recovering the due amount.

After preliminary enquiry, the Lokayukta has registered a case against the former collectors, former EEs and directors of the company. Gurtu was one of the directors of the company.

Yash Airways is now known is Centaur Aviation Academy. Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was the minister in-charge for aviation during the period.

Lokayukta director general Anil Kumar informed Free Press that they had received the complaint and registered the FIR against the former IPS Arun Gurtu including the then collectors from the year 20016 to 2016 and the EEs of PWD.

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