The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday carried out raids at least 42 locations in connection with the alleged irregularities in the Akhilesh Yadav-era scam in the Gomti riverfront Development Project case.
According to the reports, raids are being conducted in Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Agra areas of Uttar Pradesh, one each in Rajasthan and West Bengal in what the authorities peg as a Rs 1,400 crore scam in the Gomti riverfront development project.
The raids come on the heels of a fresh case registered against public officials and unknown people in the development case. The CBI registered the second FIR in the case, naming 189 people as accused. Among the accused, 173 are private persons and 16 are govt officials, including 3 Chief Engineers and 6 Assistant Engineers.
The operation which was carried out early morning can be expanded during the course of the day, officials said.
The Gomti River Front Development Project scam
The Gomti riverfront development project was launched in 2015 by the previous state government which was led by Samajwadi Party with Akhilesh Yadav as chief minister. The Akhilesh Yadav government in UP had sanctioned the Gomti river channelisation Project and the Gomti riverfront development by the state irrigation department during his tenure in 2014-15. The megaproject was sanctioned reportedly at the total cost of Rs 1500 crores.
Taking cognisance of the massive irregularities and corruption alleged to have taken place during the sanctioning and execution of the project, the Yogi Adityanath government, soon after it came to power in March 2017, launched an investigation into the project. CM Yogi Adityanath had conducted an on-spot inspection of the project on the very next day of assuming office.
After the BJP came to power in the state in 2017, the Yogi government constituted a committee under retired Allahabad HC Judge Alok Kumar Singh to launch a probe into the alleged scam. The committee found prima facie irregularities in its report submitted on May 2017. The committee was asked to probe why the project was still incomplete even after an expenditure of Rs 1513 crores of the taxpayer’s money.
In June 2017, the UP police had registered a case on the basis of the findings of the committee. In July 2017, the Yogi Adityanath government had requested for a CBI probe into the matter.
CBI took over the case in November and registered an FIR in on December 1st, 2017, in Lucknow against 8 state government engineers who had been involved in the project. The FIR named 3 chief engineers namely Gulesh Chandra, SN Sharma and Qazim Ali, 4 superintendent engineers namely Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman, Kamaleshwar Singh, Roop Singh Yadav and one executive engineer named Surendra Yadav. Several of the engineers were retired at the time of the FIR.
In November 2020, the CBI made its first arrest in the Gomti Riverfront development project case. Two engineers who were part of the project Roop Singh Yadav and Raj Kumar Yadav have been arrested by the CBI.
The central agency has been investigating the irregularities occurred during the implementation of the Gomti river channelisation project, and the Gomti riverfront development project. Funds were allegedly diverted and tenders were allegedly pooled in four major works of the riverfront project, namely the construction of a diaphragm wall, the construction of an intercepting trunk drain, the construction of a rubber dam and the preparation of vision documents.