LUCKNOW: The city police on Monday initiated the proceeding for the cancellation of passports of two former managing directors and three general managers of Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Limited (UPRNNL) on Monday.
On Monday, police raided office and godowns of the UP State Nirman Nigam, a public sector construction unit of the UP government.
The action comes in wake of the ongoing investigation by the Lucknow police on a complaint filed by a sculptor Madan Lal of Agra that he was paid only Rs 7 lakh against the promised payment of Rs 48 lakh by the contractor Aditya Agrawal.
The sculptor was given the work of carving an elephant from a stone. The work was given by the RNN contractor Aditya Agrawal. Following the complaint, late on Saturday night, Aditya was arrested by the police and on Sunday, the police had recovered the elephant statue, which was claimed by Madan Lal to have been carved by him.
Agarwal, who worked for the UP State Nirman Nigam, was arrested on charges of duping Lal. Police also recovered Rs 63 lakh in cash from the basement of ‘Lucknow Marbles’, the office of Agrawal.
“As per the papers seized so far, we have reached the conclusion that while the cost of each elephant statue was Rs 5.62 lakh, Agarwal used to receive an additional Rs 47 lakh for polishing and transportation of a statue. There was clearly a scam in which the officers of UPRNNL were involved. We are expecting to unearth a bigger fraud after interrogating some of the officers and contractors,” Lucknow DIG Aushotosh Pandey said. Police found documents during raids at office and godown of the UP State Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd (UPRNNM) which showed anomalies in tendering, payments to the sculptors and over evaluation of about 200 statutes of elephant at dalit parks and memorials. Now, the city police says that the scam involving the installation of statues at dalit memorials in Lucknow and Noida could be as big as Rs 300 crore.
A police team led by SP (TG) RB Yadav reached the UPRNN office at around 12 noon and sought details of the tenders and work allocation related to elephant statues. During the examination of the files, the names of former UPRNN MDs CP Singh and Arvind Kumar Bhatia and three GMs H Kumar, AK Gautam and Avni Kumar cropped up. Apprehending that these officials could try to flee abroad, the police have written to regional passport officer (RPO) for the cancellation of their passports, DIG Ashutosh Pandey told TOI.
About anything concrete with regard to the work allotment and tender allotment for statues installation, the DIG said that even though the files were being examined further, till now, what has come to the fore is the fact that Aditya Agrawal’s firm had given second lowest bidding for the installation of the elephants even then the work was allocated to his firm.
The DIG said that further investigation into the matter was going on.
Earlier, the cops remained at the UPRNN office for over 4 hours checking various files with regards to tender process and other works carried out in various Mayawati’s dream project. The DIG said that examining of suspected files was still going on.