Gomti Riverfront Project: ED books eight engineers for money laundering

The scam had surfaced immediately after BJP government assumed office and constituted a high-powered committee to review the project which was incomplete despite the expenditure of Rs 1513 crore.

Published: 29th March 2018 08:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2018 08:34 PM   |  A+A-

The Gomti riverfront.| Express

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: With Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) already conducting an inquiry into alleged financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 1513 crore in prestigious Gomti Riverfront project,
Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case of money laundering against eight engineers of state irrigation department here on Thursday. It includes three chief engineers and five superintendent engineers. The ED will probe into the foreign trips of these officers and the amount of time they spent abroad.

The CBI had also registered a case against the eight officials, who were involved in former CM Akhilesh Yadav’s dream project, on December 2, 2017. The central probe agency had booked the eight officials under sections pertaining to criminal misconduct by public servant, criminal breach of trust, cheating, and
forgery of valuable security, forgery with purpose of cheating, using forged documents as genuine and demand of illegal gratification.

The scam had surfaced immediately after BJP government assumed office and constituted a high-powered committee to review the project which was incomplete despite the expenditure of Rs 1513 crore.

It may be recalled that CM Yogi Adityanath had conducted an on spot inspection of the river project on March 19, a day after assuming office. He had ordered an inquiry by a probe panel headed by retired judge High Court Judge Justice Anil Singh. Other members of the panel included Urban Development minister Suresh Khanna besides a couple of senior bureaucrats.

Making probe panel’s 74-page report a base, the CM had recommended CBI inquiry into the project on June 17, last year.

The report had red flagged over expenditure, lack of appropriate environmental clearance and poor monitoring as major flaws hampering the project. The report had indicted those eight officers of
irrigation department for fraud following which an FIR was registered against them.

Those named in the FIR were chief engineers Gulesh Chand, SN Sharma and Kazim Ali and five others then posted as superintending engineers included Shiv Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman, Kamleshwar Singh,
Roop Singh Yadav and Surendra Yadav. The engineers were accused of misappropriating the funds meant for the project and other anomalies related to execution.

As per ED officials, a set of questions was prepared for each individual and they would be interrogated separately.

Records of their trips and misuse of funds are already under scanner.

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