Vigilance inquiry ordered into irregularities in road widening in HP

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Shimla, Mar 13 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh's State Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (SV&ACB) today registered a case of forgery and cheating into alleged irregularities in the widening of Sohal-Dhrabla road under the Shimla water augmentation scheme during the previous Congress Government's tenure.

The case was registered on the behest of the state government in which around dozen officers of the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) department and contractors engaged in the venture have been booked, official sources said.

The Vigilance Bureau has logged the FIR against all accused under section 420, 465, 467,468, 471 and 120 (b) of the Indian Penal Code besides booking few of them under section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Confirming the registration of the case, SV&ACB, Superintendent of Police, A.P. Singh said, ''an FIR into the case has been logged and investigations into the matter are underway.'' The Sohal-Dhrabla issue came into limelight during the previous Congress government's rule when the BJP, then in opposition had alleged that there were gross irregularities in the widening of this road as in-proportionate expenditure was doled out for widening of this road.

The BJP had alleged that not more than Rs 10 lakh was spent on the widening of the road, yet astronomical expenditure of Rs 1.64 crore was incurred on it.

It may be mentioned that a departmental inquiry into the matter that was initiated during the Congress government regime is still underway, the report of which is awaited.

The former IPH minister Kaul Singh Thakur when contacted said that it is welcome step that would unveil the truth.

''We had conducted an investigation into the matter when it came to our notice during our regime itself and had suspended around 12 officers who were found responsible.

''It was me who had then forwarded the case to the Vigilance Bureau for further inquiry and necessary action thereof,'' Thakur added.

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