NHPC Chief-Engineer Trapped With Graft Money In Himachal

An chief engineer, Raj Pal, with National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), has been trapped allegedly receiving Rs 10,000/- graft money from a contractor on Friday afternoon in Chamba.

Daljit Minhas, DGP Vigilance, confirmed the arrest of Raj Pal – chief engineer (civil) NHPC saying that it was perhaps for the first time that such a high ranking engineer had been trapped accepting illegal money.

On a tip off from contractor Vikas Saini (named changed to protect identity), a vigilance team headed by DSP Paras Ram set up the trap, vigilance sources disclosed. The chief engineer was allegedly demanding Rs 10,000/- for clearing each contractor bill.

“The chief engineer has been arrested, a case has been registered and a search of his residential and official premises was taking place,” said Minhas.

Tracking down corrupt officials, vigilance investigators in recent weeks caught up with a revenue official, an engineer, a forest official and a food inspector, sending out warning signals for others that vigil has been stepped up.

Around festive time, in temple town of Jwalamukhi, on a tip off, food inspector Bhavati Tandon was trapped last Saturday, allegedly demanding Rs 2,000 bribes from a shopkeeper to pass food samples.

Before the last financial year closed, executive engineer OP Shama was caught accepting Rs 25,000 allegedly for clearing a contractors bills. Investigators stumbled upon another Rs 50,000 in his drawer and over Rs 10 lakh cash from his residence.

Earlier in March, Barkha Ram Chaudhary, divisional forest officer Theog, was nabbed with over Rs 61 lakhs withdrawn from the treasury in order to pay up for non-existent works executed under catchment area treatment (CAT) plans. Investigators suspect the large amount was withdrawn allegedly for misappropriation purposes.

A week earlier, Pratap Singh Ranta – a tehsildhar in the revenue department was trapped accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 for executing a land sale registration deed in Kandaghat.

“A targeted and focused approach is beginning to yield results,” says Daljit Minhas.

In three months, vigilance department has succeeded in laying 11 traps, in which Rs 11.25 lakhs of suspected grease money stands seized.

The amount surpasses the total catch made over the past five years, as Rs 5.24 lakhs was seized in 23 cases in 2008, Rs 1.21 lakhs in 16 cases in 2007, Rs 52,000 in 16 cases in 2006 and Rs 80,000 in 19 cases in 2005 was seized.

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