KERALA

Probe ordered into Chimmony dam issue

THRISSUR JULY 3. The Thrissur Vigilance Enquiry Commissioner and Special Judge, S. Satheenathan, today ordered an expert team to inspect the Chimmony dam site and the construction and submit a comprehensive report with respect to the correctness or otherwise of the allegations raised against the dam construction work.

The Judge ordered that an expert team comprising the Engineer of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB), Head of the Department and Professor of Civil Engineering of the Thrissur Engineering College, and the Head of the Department of Civil Engineer of the Maharaja's Institute of Technology, Thrissur, conduct the investigation.

The case will be taken up for consideration again by the court on September 30. The Judge ordered the investigation of the expert team following the registration of a Criminal Miscellaneous Petition) suo moto by the Vigilance Court here on May 2 based on an anonymous letter quoting newspaper reports and a copy of a petition submitted to then Kerala Governor by Lonappan Nambadan, former Minister, in November, 1995.

The Judge observed that "prima facie if the allegations regarding the manipulations of documents including the duplication of the work as per the records, the forgery of documents, destruction of documents etc. are accepted, it would point to the malpractice and the connivance of the persons involved. Therefore, prima facie it is found that a detailed investigation in the matter with respect to the allegations raised is necessary and it is only just and reasonable to bring the offenders to the retribution for the total loss of the project.''

The Judge observed that the report of the CAG with regard to the allegations on the construction of Chimmony dam may also be worthwhile for consideration

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