The PHED minister Mahesh Joshi said that the allegations of corruption of Rs 20,000 crore are not true.
“The tender about which people (Kirodi Lal Meena) are talking were cancelled. So there is no chance of any corruption in those tenders,” he said.
Joshi said that ED as an investigating agency is free to investigate corruption cases.
“We will cooperate with ED. But it should not unnecessarily torture people. Investigation should be free and fair,” he said.
ED, on Friday conducted raids at more than two dozen locations including residence and office of additional chief secretary Subodh Agarwal, who heads PHED. It had also conducted raids at office of Mahesh Joshi, six senior engineers and couple of property dealers in JJM scam case.
Agency grills ACS Subodh Agarwal
According to sources, the central investigating agency grilled additional chief secretary Subodh Agarwal for 13 hours and asked him about the payments made to contractors.
Sources said that, the department had made payments of more than Rs 18,000 crore without getting the quality checked.
“ED is also looking into administrative decisions and correlating it with the action. Why few engineers were harassed and transferred frequently and why select few were given dual or triple importing charge. ED is exploring all the angles,” sources said.
Sources said that out of Rs 70,000 crore Jal Jeevan Mission, 44.4% works have been tendered. A central team in the month of September had visited villages in Alwar to assess the work on ground execution of this scheme.
ED conducted raids in September also
The ED had conducted raids in the month of September also in which it had recovered cash of Rs 2.5 crore a brick of gold. It had investigated property dealer Kalyan Singh Kaviya and retired RAS officer Amitabh Kaushik. On the basis of inputs and recovered incriminating documents ED has created a trail and now investigating ‘bigger fish' for larger pie.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena had in June alleged a scam of ₹20,000 crore in the implementation of the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission' in Rajasthan.
He had alleged that tenders worth ₹900 crore were issued to two firms based on fake experience certificates in 48 projects of the scheme.
“A scam of ₹20,000 crore was committed under the Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission. This was done together by the PHED minister and the department secretary,” Meena had alleged.
What is Jal Jeevan Mission ?
Jal Jeevan Mission, is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India with equal financial contribution of state and central government.
The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.