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Scandals haunt Uttarakhand govt again

Shishir Prashant  |  New Delhi/ Dehradun 

A series of alleged scams have returned to haunt the Uttarakhand government with the Supreme Court today calling for compliance of the High Court order on the Rishikesh housing project.

As a follow-up to the court order, the state government has set up a judicial commission to investigate the role of some officials, who misled it in changing the land-use pattern of the industrial land of Mumbai-based Citurgia Biochemicals to facilitate the project.

A one-member commission under Justice B C Kandpal, a retired judge of the state High Court (HC) has been formed to investigate the role of government officials in the issue. Kandpal is also heading the probe panel formed by the government to investigate 56 alleged scams unearthed during the previous Congress government.

The Citurgia issue had rocked the hill state last year after Opposition parties led by Congress sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe alleging, the government allowed the housing project being developed by Sturdia Developers on the industrial land of Citurgia Bio-chemicals in Rishikesh near river Ganga, violating tough environmental norms and other rules.

The HC had cancelled the Sturdia housing project last year on a bunch of petitions and ordered the government to take the land back from the real estate company. The court had also ordered an inquiry into the role of some government officials who had misled the government on issues related with the housing project.

Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has maintained, the project was allowed according to the recommendations of the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction which stated that a part of the sick Citurgia Biochemicals can be sold for its revival.

In another case, the HC has fixed March 25 as the date of hearing in the case related to cancellation of 56 hydel projects, which were cancelled after corruption was alleged in allotment process. Former NHPC and Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited Chairman Yogendra Prasad is likely to surrender in an alleged corruption case.

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First Published: Sat, March 05 2011. 00:17 IST