BENGALURU/BELAGAVI: On the heels of the demise of contractor and BJP leader Santosh Patil, who reportedly died by suicide in a private lodge in Udupi on Tuesday, informed sources told TNIE that the village road in Hindalga, for which Patil was reportedly seeking payment, was allegedly built “without any sanction order from the government”.
In February, president of Hindalga GP in Belagavi had written to the RDPR department asking for the work order and payment for the village road that was built.
“The officials went through the files and to their surprise, found that no such sanction was given for road construction in Hindalga village,” added sources. Santosh’s friends concur that he had taken up road works without a work order, as he had been assured that it would be given later.
Santosh was promised work order later: Friends
Last month, the department wrote to the ZP Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Belagavi, asking him to explain how the work order for the road was granted without government sanction. “There are hundreds of private contractors working on government projects. There is no record of work or any written request of payment from Santosh Patil,” added sources.
Patil had accused RDPR Minister KS Eshwarappa’s associates of demanding 40 per cent commission for releasing payment. He and the other contractors had completed 108 roads works under Hindalga GP limits, investing their own money, and taking loans from friends, family and financial institutions. Patil had started work on oral assurances of public representatives and spent Rs 4 crore, his friend Shankar (name changed) claimed.
Eshwarappa had said that he did not know Santosh Patil, and that he had not been given any official order from the department to take up work RDPR Additional Chief Secretary had also clarified that no work order was issued as the works were not sanctioned, so the question of making payment did not arise.
“Political games and corruption killed Santosh Patil. It was not suicide that has ended him,” alleged Shankar. Santosh started believing a few public representatives and fell into their political trap, though he was warned by friends to stay away from them. Shankar recalled that Santosh took up road work in April 2021, only on the word of a few leaders.
After payment was delayed by the government, Santosh was unable to handle the financial mess, he alleged. Sources said Santosh’s creditors were seen visiting his residence to demand their money in the past few days, which had put tremendous pressure on him. Attempts to contact Hindalga GP President Nagesh Manolkar and GP member NS Patil elicited no response.