Delhi BJP leaders record statements before ACB in alleged classroom construction scam

Three Delhi BJP leaders on Monday recorded their statements before the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in connection with the alleged scam in the construction of classrooms in schools run by the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government.

The BJP leaders included Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana, former MLA Kapil Mishra and former office-bearer Neelkant Bakshi. The three leaders also submitted evidence documents to the ACB officials.

“Today we have submitted evidence and filed our statements. We are confident that the ACB and the Lokayukt will hold Delhi government responsible for the scam in classrom construction and punish Education Minister Manish Sisodia,” the BJP leaders said recording their statements.

Khurana said that if necessary, they will also submit the documents before Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, V.K. Saxena.

Last month, Saxena had sought a report from the Chief Secretary over the delay of two-and-a-half years on the part of the Vigilance Department to act on the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) inquiry report on construction of additional classrooms in Delhi government schools.

The CVC report, which found gross irregularities and procedural lapses in the execution of the projects, was sent by the CVC to the Secretary (Vigilance), GNCTD, on February 17, 2020, seeking comments for further investigation or action.

The CVC had received a complaint regarding irregularities and cost overrun in the construction of additional classrooms in Delhi government schools on July 25, 2019.

According to the CVC report, tenders were floated for the works originally proposed and approved. But later, the awarded contract value against the proposals varied from 17 per cent to 90 per cent on account of introduction of richer specifications, service tax requirement of deeper foundation, increase in plinth area, etc.

The cost escalated to the extent of Rs 326.25 crore, which was 53 per cent higher than the awarded amount of the tender. The escalated cost was utilised for the construction of only 4,027 classrooms against 6,133 that were to be constructed.

As per the report, in 194 schools, 1,214 toilets were constructed against the requirement of 160 toilets with an extra expenditure of Rs 37 crore (approx).

However, the toilets were allegedly counted and projected as classrooms by the Delhi government.

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