Chandigarh, June 24, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded chief minister Bhagwant Mann order a CBI probe into the Rs 60 crore bus purchase and bus body building scam committed by former transport minister and incumbent Punjab Pradesh Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring.
In a statement here, former minister Sikander Singh Maluka said the corrupt activities of Raja Warring had been thoroughly exposed through an RTI. “It seems Raja Warring has crossed all limits of corruption. Not only has he allowed Punjab Roadways and Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) to incur a loss of Rs 4 lakh each on bus body building charges of 840 buses but has even purchased the entire fleet of new buses on cost price despite the fact that bus companies give a discount of up to Rs 4 lakh per bus on big orders running into hundreds of vehicles”.
Asserting that a scam of around Rs 30 crore each had been committed by Raja Warring on the bus body building as well as purchase of the 840 buses, Mr Sikander Maluka said the entire case should be handed over to the CBI for a free and fair probe. “I am sure the chief minister, who says he is a votary of anti-corruption and stands for zero tolerance to corruption will take immediate action in the matter. If he does not do this, his statements on putting the corrupt behind bars will be seen as mere lip service only”.
Giving further details of the gross irregularities committed by Raja Warring, the SAD leader said the Congress leader had even disregarded low quotes of Rs 8.20 lakh and 8.40 lakh per bus given by two companies engaged in bus body building in Punjab and had given the contract for bus body building of the entire fleet of 840 buses to a Jaipur based company for Rs 11.98 lakh per bus.
“This caused a loss of nearly Rs 4 lakh per bus to the State exchequer. He said this was not all. “The Punjab government also lost Rs 1.51 crore in transporting the buses to Rajasthan as well as Rs 18 crore in taxes to the Rajasthan government”.
Mr Maluka said the Punjab based company which had given a rate of Rs 8.20 lakh per bus for body building charges had earlier built the body of 100 Rajasthan Roadways buses.
“The same company had earlier built the bodies for 100 PRTC buses in 2018 for Rs 7.10 lakh per bus”. He said it was clear that Raja Warring had disregarded Punjab body builders known for their superior skill in bus body building and given the contract to outside parties at exorbitant prices to receive a kick back in the deal.
Mr Maluka said similarly in case of bus purchases the manufacturers were known to give hefty discounts on big orders like the one for 840 buses given by Raja Warring. “However Warring did not take the required discounts of up to Rs 4 lakh per bus indicating he had received kick backs while giving the purchase order”.
Asserting that a CBI probe would be most suited in this case, Mr Maluka said “it is an inter-state case. Moreover the Congress party would also prefer a free and fair inquiry into the scam. The SAD urges the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to hand over the case to the CBI immediately”.