An FIR has been lodged against leading tent suppliers, 'Lallooji and Sons' at the Daraganj police station in Prayagraj, for allegedly trying to defraud the Uttar Pradesh government of Rs 109.85 crore by submitting forged bills for goods provided during Kumbh 2019.
The firm has been providing tents, furniture and loudspeakers for the Maha Kumbh, Kumbh and Magh Mela for decades. The FIR has been lodged on the complaint submitted by the then additional Kumbh Mela Officer, Dayanand Prasad.
The FIR names 11 persons in the firm. The firm has also been blacklisted by the Prayagraj Mela Authority for the next five years.
Station house officer (SHO) J.P. Shahi said that the complaint claimed that the Prayagraj Mela Authority had to set up the biggest non-permanent tent city of the country for Kumbh.
The firm was given the contract for tents, tin sheets and furniture. The firm submitted bills worth Rs 196.24 crore between February 2017 and July 6, 2019. However, an investigation showed that only bills of Rs 86.38 crore were real, while others were forged.
Kumbh Mela Adhikari, Prayagraj Mela Authority, Vijay Kiran Anand, said, "The firm had raised fake bills worth crores. If payments made to the firm from all departments are taken into account, it has been paid around Rs 171 crores."
The firm has also moved for arbitration court over the issue and presented documents that also contain fake signatures of our officials, he added.