March 24, 2009 10:53:40 am
The Dal may be dying but its ever polluting waters and shrinking shores are filling pockets of its government appointed protectors. In its bid to prevent this loot in the name of the preservation of Dal Lake,J-Ks top anti-corruption body State Vigilance Organisation has already chargesheeted more than fifty officials of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) in seven brazen cases of corruption while more than a dozen other similar cases are still under investigation.
The fate of these cases and their outcome expose government apathy towards this picturesque water body which is the flagship of Kashmir tourism and an inseparable facet of the identity of Srinagar city. Here is a scan through the Vigilance Organisations seven anti-corruption cases and how governments own officials turned the Save Dal lake endeavour into a money minting project.
* On September 9,2000,Vigilance registered a case (33/2000-VOK) against sixteen officials including a director of the LAWDA. The case has already been chargesheeted. According to Vigilance,the officials of the LAWDA had drawn huge funds during implementation of deweeding and skimming programme and violated the codal formalities to benefit favourites,causing loss to the state exchequer.
Those chargesheeted by the Vigilance included Khursheed Ahmad Shahdad ,executive engineer,LAWDA,division-II,Mohammad Rashid-din Kundangar,director,LAWDA,Kashmir,Ghulam Nabi Khan,assistant accounts officers,LAWDA,division II,Ghulam Mohammad Chiloo ,junior engineer,Abdul Majid Shah,junior engineer,Nayera Taban scientist A,Mukhtar Ahmed Buch ,junior engineer,Tahir Mehmood,senior technician,Asmat Buch,scientist A,Shafat Hussain Qadimi,Assistant Executive Engineer,division-II,Altaf Hussain Mir,junior engineer,division-II,Srinagar,Imtiyaz Ahmad Gani,junior engineer,division-II,Showkat Ahmad Najar,junior engineer,division,Shakeel Abbas,junior engineer,Rafiq Ahmad Zaz,junior engineer and Altaf Ahmad Bhat,Assistant Executive Engineer.
* On September 9,2000,Vigilance registered another case (FIR 31/2000-VOK) against fourteen officials of LAWDA including two executive engineers. According to Vigilance,the officials had hatched a criminal conspiracy and misappropriated huge funds by fabricating the records for execution and renovation of the office building of the Vice Chairman,LAWDA.
The Vigilance identified the officials involved in this misappropriation as Khursheed Ahmed Shahdad,Executive Engineer,LAWDA,division II,Mukhtar Ahmed Buch,junior engineer,Khazir Mohammad Khandey,assistant engineer,Ajaz Rasool,executive engineer,LAWDA,Altaf Hussain Bhat,assistant executive engineer,Abdul Majid Shah,junior engineer,Ghulam Mohammad Chiloo,junior engineer,Showkat Ahmad Najar,junior engineer all part of LAWDA,division-II, Azad Ahmad Kawoosa,private person,Irshad Ahmed Zargar,private person,Abdul Gani Najar,private person,Ghulam Mohammed Dar,assistant accounts officer,LAWDA,Ghulam Nabi Khan,assistant accounts officer,LAWDA,Mohammed Maqbool Shah,draftsman,LAWDA,Manzoor Ahmad Basoo,private person and Zahoor Ahmad Mir,junior engineer,LAWDA,division-II.
* On September 9,2000,the anti corruption body registered another case against seven LAWDA men who were accused of misappropriation of funds meant for drudging and extracting weed from Dal lake. The Vigilance inquiry had established that no work was executed by the LAWDA officials on ground.
The Vigilance identified the officials and private parties involved in the corruption as Wardha Sayed Buch,junior engineer,Showkat Ahmed Nazar,junior engineer,E Chackoo,Managing Director,Tebma Shipyard Chennai,Girdhari Lal Chourasia,Assistant Executive Engineer,LAWDA,Mohammad Ramzan Bhat,executive engineer,division-II,Mushtaq Ahmad Aasba ,Assistant Executive Engineer,Shafat Geelani ,junior engineer and Manzoor Hussain Pandit,Plant Engineer.
* Another case was registered that very day (37/2000-VOK) by the Vigilance and 13 officials of the LAWDA and a private party were charge sheeted for committing large scale bungling while making purchase of various items. The Vigilance said that the prescribed rules and regulations were violated by the LAWDA officials.
Those chargesheeted included Khursheed Ahmad Shahdad,executive engineer,LAWDA,Javeed Ahmad Lone,storekeeper,Mohammad Ramzan Bhat ,executive engineer,Altaf Ahmad Bhat,Assistant Executive Engineer,Shakeel Abbas,junior engineer,Rouf Jan Mir,junior engineer,Ghulam Nabi Khan,assistant accounts officer,LAWDA,Ghulam Ahmad Dar,assistant accounts officer,Mohammad Abdullah Joo,Ghulam Nabi Dar,both LAWDA men,Mohammad Shahnawaz ,private person,
Abdul Rashid Malik,junior engineer,Shafat Ahmad Qadeemi,Assistant Executive Engineer and Ajaz Rasool Wani,Assistant Executive Engineer,LAWDA.
* The anti-corruption body filed another case in May 2001 against the officials of the LAWDA including the then Vice Chairman for purchasing two weed harvesters which were defunct and did not fit the specification.
Those chargesheeted by Vigilance included Khursheed Ahmad Naqeeb,the then Vice-Chairman,LAWDA,Mohammad Rashid-u-din Kundangar,Director,LAWDA,E Chickoo ,Managing Director ,Tebma Shipyard Chennai,Deepak Rao Bedoo,additional General manager,Tebma Shipyard Chennai and Mohammad Ramzan Bhat,Executive Engineer,LAWDA,mechanical division. Naqeeb and Kundangar have already retired from the government service.
* The State Vigilance registered another case in January 2002 and two officials of the LAWDA were charged for abusing their official position in active connivance with supplier firms with a view to defraud the state exchequer.
The Vigilance identified the accused as Amanullaha Khan and Ali Mohammad Langoo both operators in LAWDA.
The Vigilance sleuths registered case against a Senior Assistant,LAWDA,Showkat Ali Chalak in the disproportionate assets case. The case has already been chargesheeted.
According to Vigilance,more than a dozen cases of corruption involving LAWDA officials are under investigation. The J-K Government,however,has never taken a serious note of the rampant corruption in the official body entrusted to help preserve Dal and a lack of exceptional punishment to corrupt officials has only encouraged the loot leading to dangerous consequences for the very existence of this beautiful lake.
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