The Telegraph
Saturday , May 10 , 2014
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Cong in SMC mess

Siliguri, May 9: The Congress has landed in a mess of its own making in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation after a section accused a member mayor-in-council from the party of embezzling funds in a project to lay 4G cables.

On May 6, some district Youth Congress submitted a memorandum to mayor Gangotri Datta, alleging that an MMIC had taken a bribe from a private firm which had been assigned with the task of laying cables for 4G services. The memorandum did not mention the name of the MMIC.

Some civic councillors asked Datta if the private firm digging the roads and laying the cables had permission from the SMC, to which the mayor said no, according to sources.

Documents with the SMC revealed that the private company had deposited Rs 7 crore as compensation to the SMC for digging roads to put the cables. As the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls kicked in on March 5, the SMC could not grant permission.

However, the company started digging the roads despite the model code being in force.

A section of Congress leaders pointed fingers at Sujoy Ghatak, the MMIC (PWD) and the Congress candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.

Ghatak wrote to the mayor on May 7, requesting her to clarify that all transactions were done according to a government order.

“If the roads were dug without permission, engineers will find out and file a report,” he said today.