BBMP commissioner seeks probe into Rs 3,207 cr fund scam

Days after MiD DAY expose, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has handed over investigation of the scam to the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force
The recent expos � by this newspaper regarding the secret report filed by BBMP's Technical Vigilance Committee (TVC) nailing three major areas where funds worth Rs 3,207 crore were being misappropriated, has prompted the palike to hand over investigations to the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF).

While BBMP Commissioner H Siddhaiah has asked that BMTF to investigate and file a charge sheet against the offenders, sources from palike reveal that the case could be handed over to the Lokayukta

BBMP Commissioner H Siddhaiah handed the BMTF 153 files pertaining to financial transactions conducted by Gandhinagar, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Malleshwaram constituencies in the last three years.
The body has screened around 58 files and has found gross violations. Around 9,956 more files are pending scrutiny, but are rumoured to be missing. MiD DAY is also in possession of the official letter sent by Siddhaiah to the BMTF, highlighting that the scam was valued over Rs 3,207 crore.

The TVC report brought to light that the three constituencies were witnessing financial misappropriation and that multiple false bills were being submitted and public money was being misused.

The report mentioned earlier that the scam was worth Rs 700 crore, however after initial investigations based on this report - it has been found that the scam runs into thousands of crores. The palike commissioner has now asked that BMTF investigate the matter and file a charge sheet against the offenders.

City's greatest scam
Sources within the BMTF revealed that they have completed screening the material that has been made available. "The BBMP Commissioner handed over 153 files pertaining to the financial transactions conducted by these three constituencies in the last three years.

A grab of the MiD DAY's October 25 edition that exposed the scam and the scanned copy of the document that was sent to BMTF by BBMP Commissioner H Siddaiah

We have however managed to screen around 58 of these files and have found gross violations. We are yet to receive around 9,956 more files, which are rumoured to be missing. Only after we receive and screen these files, can estimate the total amount of this scam," said a highly placed source within the BMTF.

He further adds that this could probably turn out to be the greatest scam recorded within the BBMP till date.
Drawing sharp criticism from all quarters after this issue was exposed in MiD DAY, the BBMP commissioner has maintained that the issue would be dealt with seriously.
However, records revealed that the scam took place when S Subramanya was the BBMP commissioner in 2008. On being questioned whether the former commissioner would come under the scanner, Siddhaiah claimed that the highest authority of the palike should not be blamed for the wrong deeds of the junior level officers.

No escape
"There is no proof to prove that the former commissioner was involved in the misappropriation in any way. The highest body of the BBMP cannot be held responsible for the wrong doing of the junior level officers. Now that the probe has been initiated, I assure you that the guilty would be brought to book," Siddhaiah said.

While there has been internal discontent over the commissioner's decision to hand over the probe to the BMTF, sources from the palike reveal that the case could be handed over to the Lokayukta.
"To be on the safer side since BMTF is a palike body, the commissioner has also written to the Urban Development Department about this scam. The body will most probably hand over the next level of investigations to the Lokayukta.

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