2 IAS officers suspect in NH-74 land scam

DEHRADUN: The two IAS officers, who are allegedly being mentioned in the report submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that investigated the NH-74 land compensation scam to the Chief Secretary, seem to have become suspect for their roles as arbitration officers (settling compensation claims) that they performed while being posted as District Magistrates of Udham Singh Nagar.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, August 2

The two IAS officers, who are allegedly being mentioned in the report submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that investigated the NH-74 land compensation scam to the Chief Secretary, seem to have become suspect for their roles as arbitration officers (settling compensation claims) that they performed while being posted as District Magistrates of Udham Singh Nagar.

Between 2012 and 2016 five IAS officers were posted as District Magistrates of Udham Singh Nagar. Out of them one died an untimely death, while another remained an officiating DM for six months and as his tenure was temporary he was not entrusted with the task of arbitration. Based on these calculations, the names of two IAS officers who are now posted in Dehradun are doing the rounds for their alleged role in the scam. Though, official word from the government is yet to be out.

The officials in the Department of Revenue claim that the scam unfolded as the District Magistrates performing the role of arbitrators raised the price of agriculture land several times to benefit a few influential persons and even farmers, ultimately leading to a scam totalling around Rs 300 crore.

So far, senior officers and politicians have failed to come under the scanner of the SIT. Those in the know claim that in case there is clinching evidence against the two IAS officers, who are allegedly being named, a notice and charge sheet would have to prepared.

Besides, the Uttarakhand government will also have to seek a go-ahead from the DOPT for initiating departmental proceedings.

Land price raised several times

The officials in the Department of Revenue claim that the scam unfolded as the District Magistrates performing the role of arbitrators raised the price of agriculture land several times to benefit a few influential persons and even farmers, ultimately leading to a scam totalling around Rs 300 crore.

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