Non-issue, says Kiren Rijiju on Vigilance report implicating him in Rs 450 cr hydro-electric project ‘scam’

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, his cousin Goboi Rijiju are among the several top government officials named for their alleged involvement in a Rs 450 crore scam in the construction of
Kiran Rijiju dismisses charges against him -... Source: PTI
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi December 13, 2016 13:52 IST

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, his cousin Goboi Rijiju are among the several top government officials named for their alleged involvement in a Rs 450 crore scam in the construction of two dams for a 600-MW hydro-electric project in Arunachal Pradesh, reports The Indian Express.

Notedly, this is one of the biggest hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh in West Kameng, which is the minister’s parliamentary constituency. Goboi is one of the sub-contractors in the project.

Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma of Eastern Electric Power Corporation has named several people, including the minister, in a 129-page report sent to the CVC, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Ministry of Power in July, 2015, the report says.

According to IE, Verma also submitted an audio CD of the purported conversation between him and Goboi on December 29, 2015. In the audio, Goboi is heard “pushing” Verma to sanction the payments. Goboi is also heard offering “any help you need from Bhaiya (Kiren).”

The CVO also alleged that CBI carried out two “surprise checks” but no FIR was registered.

Meanwhile, Kiran Rijiju has categorically dismissed charges made against him saying those who "planted" the news that he has been named along with a few others in a vigilance report on corruption at North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) will get beaten up with shoes if they come to Arunachal Pradesh.

"Jhoothe khayenge hamare yahan," he told ANI reacting to the report that appeared in The Indian Express on Tuesday.

As per Verma’s report, a number of fake and inflated bills were shown by the contractors to “allegedly siphon off money in the name of transporting rocks needed for construction of the dams.”

Verma’s report claimed that thousands of tonnes of rocks were taken to the project site, at least on paper, on scooters, bikes and cars even as several registration numbers provided by the contractor didn’t exist.

Besides the CVO's report also alleges that the transportation cost was decided arbitrarily and several transport challans and records submitted by the contractor, Patel Engineering Limited (PEL), were fake.

According to IE, NEEPCO “pulled up” Verma for “unauthorised absence,” and transferred him to CRPF in Tripura soon after he sent the report. Verma, however, claimed the absence was because of his investigation.

The daily also alleges that Kiren Rijiju wrote a letter to Ministry of Power to release funds to the contractor and his cousin Goboi Rijiju. Goboi Rijiju is one of the sub-contractors in the project. 

When asked whether he had written to the Ministry of Power to release funds to the contractor and his cousin Goboi Rijiju, Rijiju said that he indeed had written the letter but dismissed the allegations of any wrongdoing. 

"It is a non-issue. Is trying to help people corruption?" he asked.

 
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