Senior IAS officer Pradeep Shukla was on Thursday arrested by the CBI for alleged bungling in upgrading 89 district hospitals under National Rural Health Mission programme causing a loss of nearly Rs 22.5 crore to the exchequer.

Evading questioning for long after former UP family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha’s arrest, the 1981-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre was detained while on his way to the airport, official sources said.

55-year-old Shukla was named in the first case registered in NRHM scam in which it was alleged that officials of Uttar Pradesh Health Department entered into criminal conspiracy with officers of UP Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation Ltd. (PACCFED) and Directors of three private firms based at Moradabad and Gajraula (all of UP).

The allegations pertained to awarding of contract for upgrading 89 district level hospitals involving an amount of Rs 89 crore.

The estimated loss to government exchequer was pegged at around Rs 25 lakh per hospital thereby resulting in loss of Rs 22.5 crore.

He was brought to the national capital and would be produced before a designated court in Ghaziabad tomorrow, the sources said.

Mr. Shukla, who was Principal Secretary Family Welfare in the State government during the tenure of Mr. Kushwaha, has been named in two other cases registered by the CBI while probing alleged irregularities in central funds meant for NRHM.

The total cost of projects in which these three cases have been registered is over Rs 250 crore and mainly deal with the construction and upgrading works in hospitals across the state.

Mr. Kushwaha, who is already lodged in jail for his alleged involvement in the scam, has levelled allegations against Mr. Shukla for being among the officials who signed the papers for fictitious payments.