Odisha

Engineers, Contractor Arrested For Misappropriation Of Over Rs 43 Lakh

Bhubaneswar: Seven persons including five engineers, an accounts officer and a contractor was arrested by State Vigilance on Thursday on charges of misappropriation of Government money amounting to Rs 43,16,044.

It had been alleged that the above mentioned government money had been misappropriated during construction of bridge over Taladanda Canal near Nayabazar, Cuttack during the year 2014-15 to 2018-19. A case regarding this had been registered at Cuttack Vigilance Police Station on December 10, 2019.

Investigation revealed that the construction work was executed under R&B Division-II, Cuttack. During tender process, the only bidder Trupti Ranjan Debata submitted his bid papers for award of the work in his favour by furnishing a false “No relation certificate” in violation of terms and conditions of the Tender, though his elder brother Ranjan Kumar Debata was working as Asst. Engineer under R&B Division, Cuttack.

The tender was accepted by Bimal Chandra Das, the then Superintending Engineer, R&B Circle, Cuttack for Rs 2,12,53,801 (Rupees Two Crore Twelve lakhs Fifty-Three Thousand Eight Hundred One). Accordingly, an agreement was executed on 5.1.2015 with the contractor Trupti.

As he had no such working experience, Trupti had executed a power of attorney and authorised Manas Ranjan Ojha to execute the work. However, actually his brother Ranjan Kumar Debata, Asst. Engineer, O/o Superintending Engineer, R&B Circle, Cuttack was executing the work and there has been monetary transaction with the Power of Attorney holder Ojha.

After completion of the work, the contractor Trupti was paid a sum of Rs 2,02,25,148 (Rupees Two Crore Two lakhs Twenty-Five Thousand One Hundred Forty-eight) by the Executive Engineer towards bill amount basing on the measurements and check measurements taken by the Asst. Engineers and Asst. Executive Engineers without any bills and invoices from authorised/designated dealer in support of purchase of SAIL steel.   

Further investigation revealed that during execution of the above work, an amount of Rs 43,16,044 has been misappropriated by the above government officials in connivance with the contractor by falsely showing excess utilisation of iron rods and cement and allowing payment in excess of the estimated cost.

As prima facie evidence was made out against (1) Sri Rajanikanta Dalabehera, Asst. Executive Engineer, (2) Sri Rabinarayan Sahu, Asst. Engineer,   (3) Sri Abanikanta Rout, Divisional Accounts Officer (Retired),  (4) Sri Ranjan Kumar Debata, Asst. Engineer, (5) Sri Sudhir Kumar Panda, Executive Engineer (Retired), (all of whom were working in R&B Division-II, Cuttack), (6) Sri Bimal Chandra Dash, Ex-Superintending Engineer, R&B Circle, Cuttack (Retired), and (7) Sri Trupti Ranjan Debata (contractor).

They were arrested today and forwarded to the Court of Special Judge Vigilance, Cuttack in custody. They have been remanded to judicial custody till January, 22, 2020.

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