Staff Reporter

Embezzlement of funds related to installation of shutters in Vamsadhara project

SRIKAKULAM: The State government is contemplating suspension of 33 irrigation officials allegedly involved in the Vamsadhara shutters scandal relating to misuse of funds to the tune of Rs.19.65 crore.

The scandal that broke out related to installation of shutters and construction of mini-bridges as part of the Vamsadhara project. A team of vigilance officials headed by Director of Vigilance Enforcement Department S. P. Khan inquired into the embezzlement of funds and submitted a report to the State government recently.

The Vigilance officials earlier interrogated 69 personnel in the department and finally zeroed in on 33 who included officers, Superintendent Engineer and the retired Chief Engineer of North Andhra projects who they believed were responsible for the fraud.

It is likely that 33 personnel will be suspended and departmental proceedings initiated to recover the money from the accused.

Action was also recommended against firms said to be involved in the execution of poor quality works. The government ordered immediate cancellation of agreements pending implementation with the firms.

The action against the irrigation officials in the decade-old scam saw the light of the day after a hue and cry was raised by the Opposition parties at several Zilla Parishad meetings.

Special Correspondent from Hyderabad adds: After receiving the vigilance report, Minister for Major Irrigation Ponnala Lakshmaiah held detailed discussions with Secretary, Irrigation, Coastal Andhra, Shailender Kumar Joshi, for suggesting to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to launch action against the officials in line with the recommendations. Dr. Reddy is likely to issue instructions for suspending the officials anytime now.

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