Lucknow: Senior IAS officer Pradeep Shukla was on Thursday arrested by CBI for alleged bungling in upgradation of 89 district hospitals under National Rural Health Mission programme causing a loss of nearly Rs 22.5 crore to the exchequer.
Evading questioning for long after former UP Family Welfare Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha`s arrest, the 1981-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre was detained while on his way to the airport, official sources said.
55-year-old Shukla was named in the first case registered in NRHM scam in which it was alleged that officials of Uttar Pradesh Health Department entered into criminal conspiracy with officers of UP Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation Ltd. (PACCFED) and Directors of three private firms based at Moradabad and Gajraula (all of UP).
The allegations pertained to awarding of contract of upgradation of 89 district-level hospitals involving Rs 89 crore.
The estimated loss to government exchequer was put at around Rs 25 lakh per hospital, thereby resulting in loss of Rs 22.5 crore.
Shukla was produced before a CBI court in Ghaziabad which remanded him to CBI`s custody till May 17.
The advocate, appearing for CBI, had sought 14-day custody to gather evidence against him in the case.
Shukla, who was Principal Secretary Family Welfare in the state government during the tenure of Kushwaha, has been named in two other cases registered by CBI while probing alleged irregularities in central funds meant for NRHM.
The total cost of projects in which these three cases have been registered is over Rs 250 crore and mainly deal with the construction and upgradation works in hospitals across UP.
Kushwaha, who is already lodged in jail for his alleged involvement in the scam, has levelled allegations against Shukla for being among the officials who signed the papers for fictitious payments.