For his role in alleged bungling of construction works

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigating the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission scam in Uttar Pradesh finally arrested senior officer Pradeep Shukla on Thursday for his role in the alleged irregularities related to construction works in 89 district hospitals under the central scheme.

The 1981 batch IAS officer was detained by the CBI at Amausi airport. After interrogation, Mr. Shukla was taken to Delhi and he would be produced in a designated court in Ghaziabad.

The senior IAS officer, who served as Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare when Babu Singh Kushwaha was Family Welfare Minister and Anant Kumar Mishra the Health Minister in the Mayawati regime, had been interrogated thrice by the investigating agency.

CBI sources said the bungling had caused a loss of Rs. 22.5 crore to the exchequer. Three cases were filed against the officer. CBI sources said that in the first case, it was charged that the U.P. Health Department officials entered into a criminal conspiracy with officials of the U.P. Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation Limited (PACSFED) and directors of three private firms based in Moradabad and Gajraula to award contracts for upgrading the district hospitals. The contracts were worth Rs. 89 crore.

Two other cases had been filed against Mr. Shukla for alleged bungling in the funds related to the implementation of NRHM programmes. These were related to construction and upgrading works.

Mr. Shukla has earned the dubious distinction of being the third IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh to be arrested by the CBI.

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