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U.P. Minister promises more action against engineers

Special Correspondent

Over 50 booked for alleged bungling in road construction and repair works

LUCKNOW: PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav on Thursday promised more action against corrupt engineers and contractors of his department engaged in road construction works.

Over 50 engineers and contractors were booked for alleged bungling in road construction works in Rae Bareli and Lakhimpur-Kheri districts recently, with the police arresting a dozen of them while the others were absconding. The action was initiated after alleged misappropriation of funds and gross irregularities were detected by a fact-finding team set up by the PWD Minister.

The State Government was spurred into action only after UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi raised serious objections on the quality of repair works in her parliamentary constituency at the meeting of the district-level monitoring committee in Rae Bareli on September 16. Ms. Gandhi's ire was directed at the roads being built from the Central Road Fund (CRF).

A two-member team from the Centre had visited Rae Bareli after Ms. Gandhi's visit and their fact-finding report confirmed the poor quality of repair work on Rae Bareli-Lalganj road and Rae Bareli-Maharajganj road. The money for their construction was made available from the CRF.

Subsequently the Rae Bareli district administration blacklisted 40 contractors and lodged FIRs against them on September 25. Ten contractors have been arrested and sent to jail. FIRs were also lodged against 30 PWD engineers, who have so far managed to evade arrest.

On Thursday, the PWD engineers staged a sit-in here in protest against the action taken against their colleagues.

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