Buta Singh denies any role in Bagmati embankment project

Last Updated: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 19:41

New Delhi: National Commission for
Scheduled Castes chairman Buta Singh on Sunday denied any
involvement in the Rs 900-crore Bagmati embankment project in
Bihar, claiming that its tender was awarded last year when he
was not the Governor of the state.

"As per my information, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar awarded the contract for constructing embankment on
Bagmati river to Hindustan Steelworks Construction Ltd, a
government of India company on April 10, 2008 and it is being
alleged that I siphoned off the money," Singh said while
addressing a conference of SC/ST organisations in New Delhi.

Last week, Bihar government had ordered a high-level
probe into the tender allotment for embankment which breached
in Sitamarhi. State Water Resources Minister Virendra Yadav
had said the project was given to Hindustan Steelworks
Construction Limited in 2005 when Bihar was under President`s
Rule and Singh was the Governor of the state.

Buta had resigned as Bihar Governor in January 2006.
"I was not even there. No doubt it was a Rs 900 crore
project, but I have been with the NCSC since the last two
years. How can I be involved in this," he said.

Referring to the probe ordered by the government,
Singh said, "No lie or fraud can be bigger than levelling such
allegations against a person who had helped people during the
floods."

The former minister is already facing trouble
following the arrest of his son by CBI for allegedly demanding
bribe from a person to drop a case against him with the
Commission.

Bhuta said that after Bagmati had created havoc in
Bihar in 2004, soon after he had assumed office as Governor of
the state, "I had personally visited the affected areas and
provided relief to people.

"Soon after this I had asked the state officials to
make a plan to prevent this problem and it was prepared by
December 2004".

Buta Singh said that Nitish awarded the contract last
year on the basis of the plan prepared and finalised in
December 2004, "and then they say I siphoned off the money".

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 19:41

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