CBI raids RCF, unused material worth crores found dumped
Kapurthala, Mar 3 (UNI) A CBI team from Chandigarh today raided the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) here to investigate the alleged corruption and malpractice and found material and machines worth crore of rupees dumped on the premises.
The CBI sleuths, who reached the factory premises last evening, have so far grilled Chief Design Engineer-cum-Chief Vigilance officer S K Aggarwal, Chief Material Manager Ram Lal and a few other RCF officials.
After meeting the officers, the team members went to the workshop and different stores to check the records and continued checking till this evening.
According to reliable sources, they took the records of materials procured, issued and used during the period from 2002 to 2004.
The sources said the team inquired about the 23 high valued items ranging from 10 lakh to 40 lakh that were lying unused in stores for the past one year. This irregularity was even pointed out on December 20 last year in which a senior official of the RCF cautioned the management about the non-use of 331 items amounting to Rs 11.11 crore.
The management reportedly failed to satisfy the CBI officials about the non-use of 16 pieces of power panel for LHB non-AC coaches amounting to Rs 40 lakh, the sources added.
The sleuths also reportedly found injudicious purchases of several items amounting to crore of rupees lying unused in the stores for the past many years.
They also inquired about the imported machines lying idle for years on which several crore of rupees were spent. They also saw the sealed containers of CNC laser profile cutting machine imported from Germany at a cost of Rs seven crore and laser cutting and welding machine imported from Belgium at a cost of Rs 16 crore and they were yet to be installed.
The officials also met the RCF employees union leaders, who reportedly handed over documentary evidence to them regarding the malpractice in the purchases. The union leaders had highlighted the alleged corruption and malpractices during their agitation last month and even demanded a CBI probe.
The inquires revealed that most of the controversial purchases were made during the tenure of former General Manager M Sirajuddin and the then controller of stores Harish Gulati and chief material manager Gajananad.
Additional SP of CBI branch, when contacted in the RCF, said the investigation was in progress but refused to divulge the details.
When asked how much time it would take to complete the investigation, he said nothing could be said at this moment.
He added findings of the investigation would be submitted to the higher authorities for further action.
Meanwhile, the CBI investigation was on.
RCF GM Yash Pal Gupta left for Delhi last night to discuss the situation arising out of the CBI investigation with senior railway officials.
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