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₹65 lakh scam: Streetlights missing or of poor quality, finds Punjab vigilance team

₹65 lakh scam: Streetlights missing or of poor quality, finds Punjab vigilance team

After Captain Sandeep Sandhu, senior Congress leader and a former political secretary to ex-chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, was booked in a ₹65 lakh LED streetlight scam, it has come to light that 890 streetlights had been planned to be installed but many of these existed only on paper or were of substandard quality.

A day after the vigilance bureau booked Captain Sandeep Sandhu, senior Congress leader and a former political secretary to ex-chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, in a 65 lakh LED streetlight scam, it has come to light that 890 streetlights had been planned to be installed but many of these existed only on paper or were of substandard quality.

“While the government has capped the price of each streetlight at 3,325, the LED streetlights were purchased at 7,288 per unit. Also, the payment was released to the company before installation of streetlights in the village,” said the senior official on the condition of anonymity.

A case of misappropriation of government grants meant for installation of streetlights in 26 villages of Sidhwan Bet of Dakha sub-division, was registered at the vigilance bureau in Ludhiana.

Probe stated that out of the 26 villages, streetlights were installed in merely five villages. A vigilance team was also sent to the villages, following complaints that the streetlights shown as installed on papers were missing.

“Preliminary probe also showed that some of the streetlights were of poor quality and the cheap material was used for its installation. Instead of 65W, the LED could only produce 45W light. Recently, the district administration had also issued an inquiry after villagers had complained of poor quality and slow pace of installation,” said the official.

Bittu comes out in support of Capt Sandhu

Congress member parliament (MP) from Ludhiana, Ravneet Singh Bittu came out in support of Captain Sandeep Sandhu and condemned chief minister Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the state, and accused them of vendetta politics. He said cases against Congress leaders were a tactic to hide the AAP government’s failures, including the deteriorating law-and-order situation, stalled development and farmers’ issues.

Cong leaders will face music for corruption: CM

Mohali: Taking a dig at Captain Sandeep Sandhu, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Wednesday said that the formed would have to bear the consequences of his deeds.

The Punjab CM was in Mohali to attend the Dussehra function.

Talking to the media, Mann said, “Congress leaders who wasted public money by indulging in corrupt activities, will face music now. We will follow the legal procedure. Congress leaders are free to approach the high court or the apex court.”

Countering the allegations levelled by the Congress leaders that they would be jailed or tortured in the wake of upcoming Himachal and Gujarat elections, the CM said that Congress doesn’t have any scope in both the states. “Congress is already out of the race in both states and thus they are just making excuses now,” added Mann.

Commenting on the law-and-order situation in Punjab, the CM said the previous governments are to be blamed.

“We will soon make Punjab free of gangsters and control the law-and-order situation. We are looking forward to a major industry boost here for which it is mandatory to curb all such activities and thus strict action will be taken in this regard. We will also nab gangster Deepak Tinu who escaped from the police custody in Mansa,” he assured.

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