The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mulayam axe on 16 deals

Lucknow, Oct. 24: The Mulayam Singh Yadav government has cancelled all major work orders given by his predecessor Mayavati in Noida.

The chief minister yesterday scrapped 16 contracts awarded by Mayavati, whose arrest in the Taj corridor scam and a disproportionate assets case was stayed by Allahabad High Court on Wednesday. The contracts were awarded during her last 30 days in power.

“Most of these orders — aggregating Rs 425 crore — had been issued to oblige certain individuals who had been partners of Mayavati in the Taj corridor project,” an official said.

The need to score political points against Mayavati quickly has led Mulayam Singh not to wait for the report of the George Joseph Committee appointed to investigate irregularities in awarding the Noida contracts.

The Noida contracts amount to Rs 1,000 crore. The decision to cancel work orders worth Rs 425 crore was taken yesterday after another high-level probe found that hefty commissions were paid by agencies to win the contracts.

Government officials did not say who conducted this probe and when, but added: “Rules were flagrantly violated in awarding these contracts.”

The project to construct a flyover on the Gautam Buddha Highway in Noida is among those for which contracts have been scrapped. The contract has been awarded to the National Project Construction Corporation, to which Rs 17 crore was released for the construction of the Taj heritage corridor without a formal agreement being signed.

“During the inquiry, we found that the site selected for the flyover was unsuitable and its actual cost was less than half of what was quoted by the NPCC (National Project Construction Corporation),” an official said.

Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party colleagues allege that Mayavati awarded the contract to the construction corporation “to recover the loss the company had to incur in the THC (Taj heritage corridor) project”.

The company says it has already spent Rs 43 crore on the Taj project, for which it has been paid Rs 17 crore. A petition to recover the remainder has been filed in the high court.

The same day the government scrapped its flyover contract, the construction corporation’s managing director, S.C. Bali, moved the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. He was challenging the validity of the FIR filed against him by the CBI.

While cancelling the contracts, the government issued notices to three contractors, including Satcon Construction Company. It also issued orders to realise Rs 4.76 crore paid to the Hindustan Steel Works Construction Company as “mobilisation advance”. The company had been awarded a Rs 106.1- crore contract by the Mayavati regime to construct a film city.

The Mulayam Singh government has also cancelled a Rs 157.28-crore contract for constructing 544 high-income group houses as well as 1,024 middle-income and 1,152 low-income group houses. It has also cancelled a Rs 31.72-crore contract for civic work and a Rs 31.73 crore contract for building a chain link and crash buffer on the Express Highway.

Having acted against the beneficiaries of Mayavati’s largesse, the Mulayam Singh government is now awaiting the report of the Mishra Commission and George Joseph Committee to strike against bureaucrats who collaborated with her regime to award these contracts by bending rules.

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