Complaint accuses them of causing the civic body loss of lakhs

Two Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials have been accused of misappropriating funds by Yediyur councillor N.R. Ramesh.

After apprising BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan about the two officials, the councillor also lodged a complaint against them with the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF).

In his complaint letter, Mr. Ramesh alleged that M. Raghu, assistant engineer in the project division in BBMP’s south zone, and M. Lakkappa, assistant controller of finance (ACF) in the same zone, caused loss of lakhs to the BBMP.

Citing one instance, he claimed Mr. Raghu illegally sold 22.88 tonnes of scrap metal retrieved after demolition of the Puttanna theatre in Jayanagar Shopping Complex. Mr. Ramesh told The Hindu that the scrap metal was worth around Rs. 18 lakh and alleged that the official had pocketed it.

The complex is being developed jointly by the BBMP and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). “The BDA handed over the scrap material to the official on October 5, 2012. To dispose of it, the official should have issued notification in a Kannada and English daily, auctioned it and deposited the amount in the BBMP’s accounts. None of these procedures were followed,” he charged.

He claimed Mr. Raghu also connived with Mr. Lakkappa to illegally cash the cheques issued to four contractors for projects taken up in Sunkenahalli, J.P. Nagar and Shakambarinagar wards, for around Rs. 30 lakh. When this came to light, the Deputy Commissioner (South) issued a show cause notice to Mr. Raghu on August 3.

Mr. Ramesh alleged that Mr. Raghu had forged the signatures of the contractors, opened accounts in their (contractors’) names and drawn the cheques illegally. This, he claimed, had been done for 18 small projects worth more than Rs. 1 crore. “The show cause notice has been issued only for four cases. The files pertaining to 14 projects are missing. The official has remained absent for over a month,” he added.

Mr. Lakshminarayan said he had directed Additional Commissioner (Administration) to look into the allegations.

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