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Delhi Vigilance Dept asks ACB to probe into 'illegal' participation of ex-consultant in DJB meetings, Whatsapp group

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Delhi Vigilance Dept asks ACB to probe into 'illegal' participation of ex-consultant in DJB meetings, Whatsapp group

New Delhi, April 22 (Ajit Weekly News) Delhi government’s Special Secretary (Vigilance) Y.V.V.J. Rajasekhar has written to the state Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) asking the anti-corruption agency to probe into Ankit Srivastava’s role in influencing decisions of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) despite being removed from the post of consultant.

This comes months after Rajasekhar wrote a letter to the DJB’s Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) referring to the “illegal activities” of Srivastava who was removed from the post of consultant in July 2023.

In the letter on Monday, the Special Secretary (Vigilance) said that Srivastava was engaged as the Consultant of the DJB without the approval of the Competent Authority i.e. the Lieutenant Governor.

“Ankit Srivastava was removed from the post of Consultant, yet he continued to be a member of a Whatsapp Group called ‘Minister (Water) Group’. It also came to the notice that Ankit Srivastava while being the member of said WhatsApp Group, was engaging in giving instructions to various senior officials that including Chief Engineers and Additional Chief Engineers and was taking policy decisions, even though, he was private person and had no locus standi in any matters,” read the letter.

Rajasekhar stated that a report was sought from the CVO, DJB on the issue. In its reply, the DJB said that even though he (Srivastava) ceased to be Consultant (Hydraulics & Water Bodies) on July 24, 2023, he “continued to actively participate as a member of the Group ‘Minister (Water) Group’ till October 5, 2023, when he left the Group”.

In his letter, the Special Secretary told the ACB that Srivastava had been “actively engaging in giving directions on Iradat Nagar Lake, tube-well installation, coordinating on behalf of Chief Minister Camp Office, receiving mails and access to CM Camp Office and passing instructions to senior officers of the Delhi Jal Board”.

“He was found to have been issuing instructions to various officers of Delhi Jal Board at the behest of CM Camp Office and appeared to have access to the mail of CM Camp Office. It was also prima facie found to have not been allowing Senior Technical Officers of Delhi Jal Board to explain their views and was strangulating them from giving any technical advice,” Rajasekhar stated.

He also claimed that many complaints and source information were coming to the fore that “contracts were being awarded to consultants known to Ankit Srivastava in Water Body Development contracts”.

“Such kind of activities by a private person even after he was removed, poses a serious threat and amounts to nothing but compromising with safety, security and integrity of Delhi Jal Board,” the Special Secretary said.

“In view of the above, as per the directions of the Lt. Governor, the case is hereby referred to the ACB to examine the matter holistically about Ankit Srivastava and his role in influencing the decision of Delhi Jal Board and take necessary action,” he added.

Reacting to the development, the AAP-led Delhi government said that the Vigilance Department under BJP-ruled Central government “is witch-hunting every consultant or advisor or domain expert who have worked with the elected government of Delhi. All secretaries, OSDs, Advisors, Consultants are being constantly hounded to force them to stop working for the welfare of people”.

“The Central government is witch hunting these professionals for political reasons. The ultimate aim is to paralyse the governance in Delhi. It’s an old trick, if u can’t compete with the good work of other governments, try to stop their work,” it said.

–Ajit Weekly News

ssh/sha


News Credits – I A N S

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