Jammu-Udhampur rail line electrification
9 top officials, Mumbai firm booked
JAMMU, July 11: The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has detected sensational scam running into several crores in Northern Railways for electrification of Jammu to Udhampur section and registered a case against nine top officers including Chief Engineers and Divisional Engineers besides a Mumbai based firm and its proprietors today.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the fraud was detected during preliminary investigations carried out by a high-ranking team of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the CBI on the basis of a complaint after which a FIR No. RC0042019A00006 has been registered by the CBI for further investigations as the scam might run into several crores. Presently, the CBI has named 10 persons in the FIR including nine senior officers and Proprietor of a Mumbai based firm namely M/s Quality Engineers and Contractors, headquartered at Thane, Mumbai in Maharashtra besides the Company and some unknown persons, whose names might figure during the further probe.
“The fraud including criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal misconduct and corruption running into several crores though the exact amount was yet to be ascertained, took place in electrification project of Jammu to Udhampur section of Northern Railways,” sources said.
Nine senior officers of Northern Railways, who have been named in the FIR included Neeraj Gupta, then Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer, Jammu Tawi, presently posted as Divisional Electrical Engineer, Ferozepur, a resident of Surya Enclave, Ferozepur, Punjab, Anil Kumar Srivastava, then Divisional Electrical Engineer, Jammu Tawi, presently posted as Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer, Ambala, Haryana, Anand Kumar, SSE Jammu Tawi, a resident of Model Town, Ambala, Kashmiri Lal, Senior AFA, a resident of Patel Nagar, Kurukshetra, Haryana, Mohammad Sharief, OS, resident of Rahya, Vijaypur in Samba district of Jammu, Vinod Kumar Parashar, then Senior WA Udhampur, now posted at Chandigarh, resident of Mohali, Punjab, Anil Srivastava, then Senior SO, now retired, Rakesh Arora, then Senior AFA, Udhampur, now retired and Dinesh Kumar Parashar, then SSE Designs Udhampur, now retired and a resident of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Satish Sudhakar Mandaokar, Proprietor of M/s Quality Engineer and Contractors, Mumbai has been named as 10th accused in the FIR besides his firm and unknown persons, whose names may crop up during investigations of the case.
The accused have been booked under Sections 120-B read with Section 420 of RPC and Section 5(2) read with 5(1) (d) of Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act.
Investigations conducted by the CBI officers so far revealed that Neeraj Gupta, then Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer Jammu Tawi, now Senior Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer, Ferozepur allowed execution of work of switching stations without approved drawings and proceeded proposal of the firms with abnormally inflated quantities, giving contractor supply items on loan basis to the contractor and issued and allowed to issue excess Railway supply material to the contractor besides passing the bills even after expiration of bank guarantee.
Anil Kumar Srivastava, then Deputy Electrical Engineer Jammu Tawi, now posted as Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer, Ambala, who has also been booked, verified the documents, quantity and condition of material received, processing of progress bulls and documents that were put before him by Neeraj Gupta.
Anand Kumar, Kashmiri Lal, Mohammad Sharief, Vinod Kumar Parashar, Anil Srivastava, Rakesh Arora and DK Parashar have been charged with giving undue benefits worth crores of rupees to the contractor’s firm, M/s Quality Engineers and Contractors Thane, Mumbai, which was involved in design, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of 25 KV AC single phase 50 HZ, traction overhead equipments, switching stations, booster transformer stations and LT Supply transformer stations including foundation structures and all ancillary equipments in Jammu Tawi (exclusive), Udhampur (inclusive)n and Section (143-C Group) of Northern Railways, the tender of which had been given to the firm for Rs 7.58 crore.
“Neeraj Gupta and other employees of Railways Engineering, Jammu allowed the contractor to execute electrification work of switching stations (Jammu to Udhampur) without approved drawings and dishonestly facilitated the contractor by giving him undue favours by making payments of bills worth Rs 15.31 lakh even after expiration of the bank guarantee,” sources said.
Further, they said, the accused public servants dishonestly approved the abnormal increase in the value of contract in revised assessment to Rs 11.11 crores without taking prior approval of the competent authority. This abnormal increase in quantities in revised assessment resulted in overpayment of approximately Rs 3.21 crores, they added.
According to sources, Rs 23.94 lakh have been paid to the contractor beyond ONA limits. Also the contractor’s firm-M/s Quality Engineer and Contractors till date hasn’t returned the copper worth Rs 2.27 crore and steel and other items to the tune of Rs 33.91 lakh, which were taken on credit.
“Thus it has been alleged that the Railways employees in connivance with M/s Quality Engineer and Contractors, Thane, Maharashtra did corruption in electrification project of Jammu to Udhampur section by dishonestly giving undue favour to the company,” sources said, adding that the employees dishonestly abused their official position and caused a minimum wrongful loss of approximately Rs 5.82 crores to the Indian Railways and consequent wrongful gain to the contractor firm M/s Quality Engineer and Contractors.