In a first-of-its-kind inquiry ordered against the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Maharashtra’s Upa-Lokayukta has directed the state public works department to probe an additional payment of Rs 11.16 crore made to a contractor involved in the construction of a service road at Vadgaon and a bypass road at Kamshet on the old Mumbai-Pune highway.
Hearing a complaint filed by a person named Dinesh Deshmukh, Upa-Lokayukta Sanjay Bhatia on December 5 asked the head of PWD’s vigilance department to submit a final report within a month.
A detailed order, available with The Indian Express, said that Deshmukh had alleged that while he has been following the matter for five years, no action was taken and he was instead pressurised to back down.
According to the order, Deshmukh had alleged that contractor Arun Patil; private consultant Pravin Tawde; MSRDC officials P S Auti, Sanjay Gangurde and Narvinder Parmar; as well as others including S M Tehalkar and Brahmanand Rao, conspired and indulged in corruption of crores of rupees as the original cost of the project was Rs 17.88 lakh.
In a hearing on November 29 in front of the Upa-Lokayukta, the MSRDC accepted that Rs 3.63 crore additional payment was made to the contractor, of which Rs 2.19 crore has been recovered till now.
Deshmukh alleged that the contractor was actually paid Rs 11.16 crore as additional payment through bogus bills. He also claimed that officials appointed by the MSRDC to probe his complaint were beneficiaries of the scam.