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Uttarakhand

Posted at: Sep 13, 2018, 1:12 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2018, 1:12 AM (IST)

U’khand suspends two IAS officers in NH- 74 scam

Dehradun, September 12

The Uttarakhand government has suspended two senior IAS officials for their alleged role in the Haridwar-Udhamsingh Nagar-Bareilly highway (NH-74) compensation scam, an official said on Wednesday.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey and Chandresh Yadav have been found working arbitrarily and being involved in financial irregularities in connection with the widening of the national highway.

The state government had acquired land on both sides of the highway in Rudrapur for widening. It is alleged that many agricultural lands were shown as commercial and compensation was given in violation of rules.

The two officers were then District Magistrate of Udhamsingh Nagar.

The suspended officials have been attached to Additional Chief Secretary (Personnel) Radha Raturi for now.

The BJP government, soon after coming to power, had ordered the probe into the matter and suspended seven sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs), including one who was retired.

A Special Investigation Team was formed later and based on its report action now has been taken against the two IAS officials, Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh said.

Suspension has sent positive message: BJP

The BJP in Uttarakhand on Wednesday termed the suspension of two IAS officers in the multi-crore NH-74 compensation scam as the “biggest-ever step” taken by the state government against corruption.

“The party got a massive mandate as people were confident we would hit hard at corruption and we have done that,” state BJP president Ajay Bhatt told reporters here.

“Their suspension in connection with the scam has sent out a positive message that BJP governments do not compromise on corruption and no one found guilty of graft, no matter how strong and big, will be spared,” he said.

Claiming that the BJP had waged a “massive war” against corruption in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, Bhatt said Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and the state unit of the party were a partner in the battle.

The SIT probing the scam is doing its job most fairly and many more aspects of the scam are likely to surface, he said. — Agencies

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