The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Tuesday filed criminal offences against 11 persons, including six officials of Maharashtra Irrigation Department, in connection with alleged irregularities of Rs. 93 crore in execution of a dam project on Balganga River in adjoining Raigad district.
After filing an FIR, the agency sleuths launched searches at the premises linked to the accused, booked under Sections of IPC related to cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery, among others, and also relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, said Superintendent of Police (Thane ACB) Datta Karale.
As per the Government directives, an open inquiry was conducted into the alleged irregularities in the dam works implemented by Konkan Irrigation Development Corp (KIDC). It established irregularities of Rs. 92,63,42,110, he said.
The accused have been identified as Fateh Mohammad Abdulla Khatri, Nissar Fateh Mohammad Khatri, Jaitun Fateh Mohammad Khatri, Abid Fateh Mohammad Khatri, Jahid Fateh Mohammad Khatri, partners of FA Construction and its related entity FA Enterprises, which were given the dam’s contract, according to an ACB release.
The others are Girish G Babar, the then Executive Director of Konkan Irrigation Department, Balasaheb Patil, the then Chief Engineer, Ramchandra Shinde, the then Superintending Engineer, Thane, Ananda Pandurang Kaluke, Executive Engineer, Raigad Division, Rajesh Chandrakant Rithe, Deputy Engineer and Vijay Raghunath Kasat, Section Engineer.
Searches of the houses and offices of Nissar Khatri (a key executive of FA Construction) and other officials are underway and documents and other evidences are being collected, Karale said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (ACB-Raigad) Sunil Kalgutkar is heading the search operation and investigations, the release added.
After the Irrigation Department decided to build a dam on Balganga river at Pen, tenders for the same were called in 2009. It was then shown by KIDC that four contractors had taken part in the tender process and the project was awarded to F A Enterprises, it said.
During investigations by SIT, it was found that Nissar Khatri of FA Enterprises, who wanted to show that it was a competitive process, allegedly filed a fake tender in the name of another firm, R A Nayak & Sons of Hubli, Karnataka.
He also allegedly prepared a Rs 1.52-crore fake bank guarantee in the name of RN Nayak for the project and indulged in several other malpractices, ACB said.
The Irrigation Department officials, on their part, allegedly made changes in project design, relaxed norms to favour F A Enterprises and also submitted a false report to secure relevant clearances for the project, it added.