Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rs. 5000 crore Railways scam alleged by NDTV

NDTV has access to documents showing how crores are gifted to vendors by Railways which lets them charge exorbitant rates - in return for kickbacks - for curtains, odour control systems and hundreds of other items that it buys every year. This seems to have started while Lalu Prasad was railways minister.

Atul Kumar, an Indian Railway Store Service officer, wrote a letter to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in March, detailing the modus operandi for the leakage of around RS. 5000 crore rupees each year.

Mamata Banerjee had brought up these issues last year and, this July, the Railway Board's vigilance office began a nationwide probe into the procurement of 16 items. By 6th August, that list grew to 20, the CVC stepped and reports were sought within four weeks. Investigations are on though there has been no action yet.

IMO: As a railways user, IMO general services etc seem to be much improved since Banerjee got control of the system again. We still have problems with Maoist insurgencies in Bengal but Rome was not built in a day. As an ordinary citizen, I can only hope for the best. Lalu Prasad was railways minister during the alleged Rs5000 crore railway fraud period. Prior to this, he was involved in the Rs1950 crore fodder scam of 1997 and had to resign as chief minister of Bihar.

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