The CBI has registered a fresh case in the alleged irregularities in the ambitious Gomti river front project in Lucknow, which was undertaken during the Samajwadi Party’s government in Uttar Pradesh, where assembly polls are due next year.
The agency started a massive search operation at around 43 locations in multiple states on Monday following the registration of FIR, officials said. The operation, which started early in the morning, is going on and it may be expanded during the course of the day, they said.
The officials said that a large number of engineers of the Uttar Pradesh government and other officials, around 180 of them have been made accused in the FIR.
This is the second CBI probe in the project worth Rs 1,600 crore, which is marred by allegations of diversion of funds, and not following the due process before awarding contracts. The first case was registered by the central agency in December 2017 on the recommendation of UP government.
The Yogi Adityanath government had recommended a CBI probe into the alleged ‘irregularities’ on July 17, 2017, when a committee appointed by it found that only 60% work had been carried out despite an expenditure of Rs 1,435 crore (95 per cent of project cost) on the project.
The development months ahead of the 2022 UP assembly elections, where the Samajwadi Party, under Akhilesh Yadav, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress, among others, will try to wrest the state from the Bharatiya Janata Party.