Goa’s former PWD minister Churchill Alemao booked for irregularities in water tanks purchase

Panaji, Jun 23 :  An FIR has been filed against Goa’s former PWD minister Churchill Alemao and five officials of the department in connection with alleged irregularities in purchase of water tanks.

“The FIR has been filed based on the Comptroller Auditor General’s report which pointed out illegality in purchase of the water tanks. The probe will be conducted to find out whether Churchill Alemao had any role to play in it,” Deputy Superintendent of Police, ACB, Bousette Silva said today.

Alemao and the five officers are accused of purchasing 6,511 water tanks at a cost of Rs 1.45 crore, bypassing the rules of the department.

The CAG has pointed out that procurement and distribution of the tanks happened between 2008 and 2011 even before the policy governing such a purchase was finalised.

Senior officials of the PWD department will be probed first to check whether proper procedures were followed and if not, then on whose instruction they did it, Silva said.

As per the complaint lodged based on the CAG report, five senior officers posted in PWD offices at Altinho in Panaji, Margao and Fatorda in South Goa will also be probed.

Asserting that they will try to investigate the role of each individual in connection with the matter, Silva said, “We will call the former minister for statement at a later stage, if required.”

They are also probing why the PWD officials purchased the tanks at a price which was 25-30 per cent higher than the estimated cost by the department. Government norms state that the bid should not exceed five per cent of the estimated cost.

Alemao, who was last year arrested in connection with the US firm Louis Berger bribery case, was the PWD minister from 2005-2012 in the then Digambar Kamat-led government in Goa.

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