Delhi

‘Audit report exposes ₹549-crore flyover scam in north civic body’

Durgesh Pathak  

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday alleged that an audit report of the BJP-led municipal corporations has exposed a “scam” of ₹549 crore in the construction of the Rani Jhansi flyover.

The cost of construction for the flyover was fixed at ₹175 crore but it went up to ₹724 crore by the time it was completed, it said.

“The construction cost of the Shastri Park flyover was set at ₹302 crore, but it was built for ₹250 crore in just 1.5 years under the Arvind Kejriwal model. The cost of the Rani Jhansi flyover was fixed at ₹175 crore but it went up to ₹724 crore and took 24 years under the BJP-led municipalities,” AAP leader Durgesh Pathak said, adding that the decision to construct the Rani Jhansi flyover was made in 1995 and it was completed in 2018.

It was supposed to be finished by 2000.

“This means that the BJP leaders were involved in corruption worth ₹549 crore from this project. This audit report has 54 pages and 70 objections,” he said.

Mr. Pathak said that when a government construction takes place, a land-owning agency is appointed by the State government to acquire the plot.

No govt. agency

“Unfortunately, the land-owning agency in the Rani Jhansi project was not a government agency. In fact, BJP leaders and the local engineers made a deal. They created a new system and technique for owning every piece of land, which involved corruption. I am sure this has never happened anywhere in the country,” Mr. Pathak said.

He added that there was a religious building on one of the plots that was acquired.

“Over ₹26 crore was given to a person named Abhishek Gupta [for the land]. If this was government land, who is Abhishek Gupta and why was the money given to him? Also, over ₹10 crore was spent without any approval. No approvals were taken from any official or agency to spend this extra money,” he said, adding the Delhi government will consider taking legal action against the civic bodies over the matter.

‘Manipulative politics’

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said that Mr. Pathak’s statement calling “cost escalation of the flyover project” a scam shows that he “indulges only in manipulative politics to malign the corporations”.

Everybody knows that due to court cases, compensation claims, and other humanitarian reasons, this flyover project got repeatedly stuck and was delayed by 20 years, he added.

The two-decade delay escalated the cost of construction from planned ₹175 crore to ₹724 crore. This is cost escalation due to reasons beyond the North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s control and not a scam. It would be better if Mr. Pathak talks about facts instead of manipulations, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 4:10:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/audit-report-exposes-549-crore-flyover-scam-in-north-civic-body/article34009319.ece

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