Vigilance department to inquire health scam

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 19 (UNI) The Vigilance department will inquire the alleged kickback in the implementation of the World Bank-funded Orissa Health System Development Project in Orissa, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced here today.

The Chief Minister said the decision to hand over the inquiry to the vigilance department was taken on the basis of the recommendation of the three-member fact-finding team, headed by Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy.

The team was appointed on January 14 last to inquire irregularties in the implementation of the project and submit its report within three months.

Besides the Chief Secretary, the other two members of the team were Development Commissioner R N Bohidar and Agriculture Production Commissioner S P Nanda.

Mr Patnaik said stern action would be taken against the Minister and officials found guilty by the Vigilance department.

He said the Chief Secretary had written to the World Bank to indicate the name of the Minister and the officers, who had taken the bribe.

Necessary action would be taken after the reply was received, Mr Patnaik said.

The Detail Implementation Review on the OHSDP, prepared by the World Bank, alleged iregulariteis in construction and purchase of equipment.

It also alleged that a Minister was paid 20 per cent to clear the purchase bill of equipment costing Rs 25 lakh.

The project was launched in Orissa in September 1997 and completed in 2003.

UNI BD SJC SS/RN2202

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