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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 26 June 2024

Mamata govt to probe breach of three dykes in East Midnapore

The move comes after citizens lodge specific complaints with anti-corruption branch of state government

Pranesh Sarkar Calcutta Published 30.06.21, 02:04 AM
Repair of the embankment at Sankarpur in East Midnapore

Repair of the embankment at Sankarpur in East Midnapore The Telegraph

The Mamata Banerjee government is set to proceed with an inquiry into the breach of three embankments during Cyclone Yaas in East Midnapore after three specific complaints were lodged by citizens with the anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the state government.

The development is considered to be significant as it could be the first case where the ACB could be allowed to conduct a full-fledged inquiry into the breach of newly constructed embankments after the chief minister recently raised questions on the issue.

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“I have heard that three specific complaints have been lodged with the ACB alleging corruption in construction of embankments in East Midnapore. The complaints would be processed by the ACB soon,” said a senior state government official.

According to practice, the ACB will primarily find out whether the complaints have any veracity. If the complaints are found to be true, the ACB will then seek permission from the top brass of the government to proceed.

“Once the permission is granted, the ACB will lodge a case and the investigation will start,” said an official.

Sources in the government said the probe could bring Suvendu Adhikari, former irrigation minister and now the leader of the Opposition, and his family within its ambit.

“The embankments were built between 2014 and 2017. Although Suvendu was not irrigation minister at that time, he was the most powerful leader in the district. So, his role in building the embankments could come under scanner,” a source said.

Sources also said the ACB had its technical wing to conduct probe into government projects like embankments.

Sources in the irrigation department said a total of 80-100km of embankment had been constructed between 2014 and 2017 in Digha and its surroundings. The entire construction was carried out following the same design.

“But the embankment were breached at three places under the impact of Cyclone Yaas. Primarily, it appears there were some issues in the execution of the project at certain places. If the design was faulty, the entire embankment would have been washed away. So, there is a scope for conducting a full-fledged inquiry into the issue,” an official said.

The state government has decided to strengthen the ACB to ensure that the body can probe all the complaints lodged with it against all public servants.

The state government has appointed 34 sub-inspectors, three DSPs and nine inspectors in the branch.

“The chief minister is eager to strengthen the ACB to ensure that all complaints coming up against the public servants can be probed in order to ensure that corruption in government schemes and projects is uprooted,” an official said.

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