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Friday, March 24, 2023

How Congress govt scrapped probe into multi-crore Ghaggar river project scam in Punjab

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau is unable to answer why inquiry number 11 launched in April 2017, against controversial contractor Gurinder Singh, the main accused in the Rs 1000 crore Irrigation Department scam, was closed without taking it to its logical conclusion. This happened during the Congress regime which ended in March 2022.

The said inquiry pertained to large-scale bungling worth crores of rupees found in the flood control works of the Ghaggar river executed by Gurinder Singh. The banks of the seasonal river which had been overflowing during monsoons and damaging crops in many districts were required to be strengthened.

The Irrigation Department had first allotted these works to another contractor by the name of Pannu. But he was forced to exit in favour of blue-eyed Gurinder Singh.

Inquiry number 11, was launched based on a source report received by the officers of the VB who have since been transferred.

Later, a fresh inquiry number 15 was started by the VB, and the bunglings reported in the Ghaggar river works were intriguingly not included in the ambit of the investigation. Hence, FIR number 10 registered on August 17, 2017, against Gurinder Singh and others had no mention of the Ghaggar river scam implying that it was pushed under the carpet.

Sources privy to the investigations into the Rs 1000 crore Irrigation Department scam disclosed that the crafty contractor was able to successfully exert political pressure through a senior Patiala-based politician of the ruling Congress after a hefty deal was allegedly struck.

Two MLAs of the Captain Amarinder Singh government, close to the Patiala-based politician too played an important role in getting the investigation into the Ghaggar river works stopped arbitrarily. The names of these two MLAs have been prominently appearing in the media during Congress rule for their involvement in illegal mining and illicit liquor manufacturing.

Efforts were made to elicit the response of the two MLAs about the revelations surfacing now but they did not respond. One of them was on tour to Australia, according to his PA.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed)

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