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184-crore scam in Ring Road bypass project? AAP government orders probe

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New Delhi:  Pointing at yet another purported scam under the Sheila Dikshit regime, Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has asked its Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to probe alleged irregularities worth Rs. 184 crore in the construction of the Ring Road bypass ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

On the basis of Delhi government’s request, the ACB yesterday registered an FIR to probe the multi-crore street lighting scam in which Ms Dikshit’s role has come under the scanner.

The decision was taken on the basis of the Prime Minister-appointed Shunglu Committee report which had alleged that financial lapses had occurred in the construction work for the bypass — from Salimgarh Fort to Velodrome Road.

The ACB has so far not registered an FIR in this case, official sources said.

The project was awarded to private contractors in two parts — Package I for works on flyovers, and Package II related to the major part of work on roads — at a cost of Rs. 407 crore, according to a press release issued late in the evening by the Delhi government.

It is alleged that the private contractor had inflated charges for the use of men and material in the project. The alleged loss to the government is estimated to be Rs. 184 crore, the statement said.

The Delhi government has alleged “many significant irregularities, omissions and commissions” during the entire tender process for 14 projects related to the 2010 event. These works were estimated to be of over Rs. 1,500 crore.

It alleged that a cartel was formed by contractors who entered into a nexus with government officials for carrying out the work, leading to a loss of Rs. 198 crore to the exchequer.

“Loss of this magnitude could not have occurred without the knowledge, support and collusion of functionaries at the highest level of the executive.

“Accordingly, the government of NCT of Delhi has referred the matter to the Anti-Corruption Branch for a thorough and impartial investigation and necessary action,” the release added.
The Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi between October 3-14, 2010, was marred by allegations of corruption to the tune of several hundred crores.

The allegations had prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appoint a high-level committee under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General VK Shunglu to look into the matter.

The committee submitted six reports to the Prime Minister’s Office. These reports are being examined by a Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister AK Antony.

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