Monday, 30th October 2017

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Anti-corruption bureau officials visit Ranchi and Dhanbad municipal corporation

Press statement released called the operation an inspection aimed at 'ensuring corruption-free administration'

By TT Bureau in Dhanbad and Ranchi
  • Published 27.02.20, 12:18 AM
  • Updated 27.02.20, 3:03 AM
  • 2 mins read
Anti-corruption bureau officials talk to Ranchi mayor Asha Lakra on Wednesday (Manob Chowdhary & Gautam Dey)

Anti-corruption bureau officials on Wednesday visited the Ranchi and Dhanbad municipal corporation, the capital’s Doranda police station and the Ranchi district land registry office in what the bureau called inspections at offices where common people have been raising complaints.

Three deputy superintendents of police (DSP)-rank officials headed the teams of the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in the capital. In Dhanbad, the six-member team — including two ACB DSPs of Ranchi, Md Mujibar Rahman and Rameshwar Oraon and inspectors Bharat Ram and Rajesh Kumar Sinha — was led by urban development assistant secretary Akhilesh Kumar and city manager Vijay Kumar.

The team led by DSP ACB Sadique Anwar Rizvi inspected units of the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) for five hours, from 10am to 3pm. It prompted mayor Asha Lakra to protest that the Hemant Soren government was targeting the civic body.

“The (state) government has failed to deliver as per the expectation of people, hence it is trying to deflect attention by carrying out such raids. The BJP has influence over the RMC since majority of the elected members are from the BJP,” she said.

The ACB is part of Jharkhand police under the home department headed by the chief minister.

Lakra said the RMC was not informed in advance about the visit of ACB officials.

“Through media I came to know that ACB officials are checking documents. As part of the law the ACB should have informed us so that we could arrange their inspection in a proper manner. Even for preventive checking ACB officials cannot access documents without prior information,” the mayor said.

DSP Rizvi clarified to her that the ACB had intimated the urban development department.

“This is not a raid,” the DSP said. “This is basically preventive checking and it aims to see whether something wrong is going on and if there is then how to correct it. Such inspections can be done without prior information.”

Lakra claimed the urban development department had not informed the civic body. “The RMC is an independent body.... We execute the works as asked by the department,” she pointed out.

Outside the Dhanbad Municipal Corporation office
Outside the Dhanbad Municipal Corporation office

The mayor claimed the ACB officials did not take away any RMC document.

ACB sources said the building map approval unit of the civic body was the target of the inspection and the team asked about the procedure of issuing occupancy certificates to buildings and why the RMC fails to prevent illegal building construction.

ACB DSP Shradha Kerketta headed team that inspected the Ranchi land registry office. Another team led by another DSP visited Doranda police station. ACB sources said a huge number of documents were seized by the sleuths from Doranda and the land registry office.

In Dhanbad, DSP Mujibar Rahman said: “We are investigating which schemes and projects are pending, reasons for the delay in execution of projects, and why common people are not getting time-bound service from the corporation to which they are entitled.”

The ACB on August 20 last year had arrested DMC assistant engineer Manoj Kumar for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 30,000 from a contractor, Manoj Kumar, for clearing the contractor’s bill worth around Rs 5.55 lakh.

On Wednesday evening, the ACB released a press statement calling the operation an inspection aimed at “ensuring corruption-free administration”. If discrepancies and evidence of corruption are found in the documents seized, a report would be sent to the department concerned, the bureau said.