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Former DC, 2 others held in highway scam

By Correspondent
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ITANAGAR, July 4 - Former Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Kemo Lollen, District Land Revenue and Settlement Officer Bharat Lingu and politician-businessman Likha Maj were arrested on Tuesday by sleuths of the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) for their alleged involvement in gross irregularities in assessment and disbursement of compensation pertaining to the Joram-to-Koloriang stretch of the Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) project.

In this connection, a case has been registered under Sections 409/419/420/467/471/120B of the Indian Penal Code, read with Sections 13(1)(c)(d) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and an investigation launched, said SP (SIC) Pranav Tayal.

Soon after their arrest, the trio were produced before the Court of the Special Judge, West Sessions division, at Yupia, which remanded them in police custody for seven days, the SP added.

Tayal said that Lollen, during his tenure as the Deputy Commissioner of Lower Subansiri district, is alleged to have been involved in gross irregularities in assessment and disbursement of compensation under the TAH project. Likha Maj is alleged to be a co-conspirator along with another government official, Bharat Lingu, former District Land Revenue and Settlement Officer of the same district.

An amount of Rs 40 crore (approximately) was sanctioned for construction of the Joram-to-Koloriang stretch of the TAH, which was funded by the Government of India through its agency, NHIDCL. Enquiry into allegations of irregularities revealed a conspiracy and active connivance of officers and individuals to misappropriate money through irregularities in assessment process, disbursement of excess compensation, and compensation to fake beneficiaries.

The enquiry further revealed that there were gross irregularities in assessing the compensation amounts by officers of the district administration at Ziro, particularly by then DC Lollen and then DLRSO Lingu.

The detailed project report submitted by Lollen based on which the funds were released by the Government of India and the compensation abstract based on which the funds were disbursed to the beneficiaries had huge discrepancies, which were also established by a fact-finding committee constituted by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Tayal said.

The modus operandi involved inclusion of names of fake and non-existent individuals to whom compensation was awarded. The entire process of assessment and disbursement of compensation by the then DC Lollen, Lingu and other officers concerned caused wrongful losses to the Government and wrongful gains to individuals like Likha Maj and others. Maj has been one of the biggest beneficiaries in the case, thereby implying his active connivance with the then officers of the district administration, the SP said, adding that the investigation is being conducted in full swing and efforts are on to unearth the role of other government officers in the scam.

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Former DC, 2 others held in highway scam

ITANAGAR, July 4 - Former Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Kemo Lollen, District Land Revenue and Settlement Officer Bharat Lingu and politician-businessman Likha Maj were arrested on Tuesday by sleuths of the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) for their alleged involvement in gross irregularities in assessment and disbursement of compensation pertaining to the Joram-to-Koloriang stretch of the Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) project.

In this connection, a case has been registered under Sections 409/419/420/467/471/120B of the Indian Penal Code, read with Sections 13(1)(c)(d) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and an investigation launched, said SP (SIC) Pranav Tayal.

Soon after their arrest, the trio were produced before the Court of the Special Judge, West Sessions division, at Yupia, which remanded them in police custody for seven days, the SP added.

Tayal said that Lollen, during his tenure as the Deputy Commissioner of Lower Subansiri district, is alleged to have been involved in gross irregularities in assessment and disbursement of compensation under the TAH project. Likha Maj is alleged to be a co-conspirator along with another government official, Bharat Lingu, former District Land Revenue and Settlement Officer of the same district.

An amount of Rs 40 crore (approximately) was sanctioned for construction of the Joram-to-Koloriang stretch of the TAH, which was funded by the Government of India through its agency, NHIDCL. Enquiry into allegations of irregularities revealed a conspiracy and active connivance of officers and individuals to misappropriate money through irregularities in assessment process, disbursement of excess compensation, and compensation to fake beneficiaries.

The enquiry further revealed that there were gross irregularities in assessing the compensation amounts by officers of the district administration at Ziro, particularly by then DC Lollen and then DLRSO Lingu.

The detailed project report submitted by Lollen based on which the funds were released by the Government of India and the compensation abstract based on which the funds were disbursed to the beneficiaries had huge discrepancies, which were also established by a fact-finding committee constituted by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Tayal said.

The modus operandi involved inclusion of names of fake and non-existent individuals to whom compensation was awarded. The entire process of assessment and disbursement of compensation by the then DC Lollen, Lingu and other officers concerned caused wrongful losses to the Government and wrongful gains to individuals like Likha Maj and others. Maj has been one of the biggest beneficiaries in the case, thereby implying his active connivance with the then officers of the district administration, the SP said, adding that the investigation is being conducted in full swing and efforts are on to unearth the role of other government officers in the scam.