MP govt officials under scanner over alleged irregularities in utilisation of Ujjain Simhastha-2016 funds

Primary probe into the six complaints submitted to the EOW a few months back has revealed that 2000 LED lights worth Rs 3.6 crores which were installed in Ujjain in 2016 are missing.

Published: 14th September 2019 12:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2019 12:46 AM   |  A+A-

corruption, bribe

For representational puposes

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Three years after Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government successfully organised biggest religious congregation – Simhastha-2016 (Kumbh Mela) in Ujjain – the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has registered six preliminary enquiries (PEs) into complaints alleging financial irregularities worth crores of rupees in purchase and works carried out by different departments for the month-long fair.

After primary vetting of the complaint and initial investigation into the available evidence, the economic offence watchdog of the state government has registered six PEs (not FIRs), which bring into the investigating agency’s scanner, many senior officials of various departments and public bodies, including PWD, Electricity Department, Ujjain Municipal Corporation, Public Health and Engineering and MP Laghu Udyog Nigam.

Primary probe into the six complaints submitted to the EOW a few months back has revealed that 2000 LED lights worth Rs 3.6 crores which were installed during the Simhastha-2016 in Ujjain in April-May 2016 are mysteriously missing.

Also, over 430 water tanks and their metallic stands too are nowhere to be found, as they weren’t deposited in the stores after the Simhastha (Kumbh Mela) culmination.

Further, contracts worth Rs 17 crores were awarded by then state government for temporary installation of electric lines, transformers and electric poles for power supply in the sprawling fair arena, but another contract worth Rs 4.6 crores was awarded for removing that temporary electric supply infrastructure against prescribed norms.

Also, a contract worth Rs 1.11 crore was awarded for installing electric poles and building road dividers in 2.9 km area from Makodiya Aam village to Mangalnath Temple, but the actual work was completed in just 900 km stretch.

Irregularities alleged in the installation of portable toilets and changing rooms and purchasing hold up fences too are under the EOW scanner.

“All those departmental officials who were mandated by then government with the above-mentioned work and purchase orders are under the EOW scanner. More evidence and records are being collected for a detailed probe into all these six matters,” said DG-EOW KN Tiwari.   

Importantly, the ruling Congress, while being in opposition in 2016-2018 had vigorously raised the issue of alleged financial irregularities in the utilisation of public funds allocated for the Ujjain Simhastha-2016, both within the Vidhan Sabha and outside.

The Simhastha-2016 was organized in Ujjain April-May 2016.

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