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Bundelkhand package scam: EOW starts probe

In Madhya Pradesh, the "Bundelkhand package" has landed into a controversy. Sponsored by the Central government, the package is meant for various development projects and schemes which will help the region prosper. But, due to various reasons, the package has been hit by mismanagement and complaints of reported scam worth Rs 3,800 crore also surface.The state government constituted an EOW investigation this year in February, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the probe could not get any momentum. Now, the seven-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the EOW, headed by AIG Dhananjay Shah has initiated the probe.“We registered the preliminary enquiry based on the information from our sources regarding the irregularities committed in various works under Bundelkhand package,” said Shah.

The Rs 7,226-crore financial package was announced in 2009 by the Centre (then led by the UPA) to develop the backward districts of the Bundelkhand region, which is spread over Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.The region which comes under MP includes Sagar, Datia, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna, Damoh. And the total amount allocated for this region was approximately Rs 3,800 crore. However, the money was allegedly skimmed out by the corrupt government personnel.The alleged scam was highlighted by Tikamgarh activist Pawan Ghuwara, who blew the whistle in 2012 after noticing bizarre mismatch in vehicle numbers. The Centre had then sent a three-member team to Panna. Motorcycles, scooters, cars and jeeps were shown as JCB machines on paper by the forest department in Panna.

There are signed (sealed) documents that unanimously shows 5 tonnes of stone were transported on a scooter (registration number allegedly meant for heavy vehicles).“It’s one of the biggest scams in India. In this Rs 3,800 crore scam, massive irregularities were committed by almost every department which was assigned various works under the package,” said Ghuwara, who is a social activist., Bundelkhand. 

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