The Punjab Vigilance Bureau's investigation into the misuse of the post by the former Chairman Municipal Improvement Trust, Amritsar, Dinesh Bassi, has revealed a number of irregularities in the allotment of tenders for development works in the city and allotment of Verka Milk Booths.
During the probe, several evidences have also been found of alleged connivance of officers / employees of Improvement Trust, Amritsar in commercial / residential plots alloted to various persons and missing files of various plots etc. from the trust office.
Dinesh Bassi arrested by Punjab Vigilance Bureau earlier in plot allotment scam was produced in a Amritsar court on Monday and two days remand was given by the court.
Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau said that as per the findings of the investigation so far, the accused Dinesh Bassi had issued tenders for development works worth of Rs. 300/400 crore during his tenure as the chairman, in which many irregularities have been found and thorough investigation into the matter could reveal the multi-crore scam.
In this regard names of various firms namely Gul Associates, Jasjit Singh Makkar Contractors, Chaman Lal & Sons, Bharat Electricals, Punjab Builders, SS Builders and Ajay Gill (Ajaypal Singh Gill) was taking rounds during the investigation.
He further informed that preliminary investigation has revealed that Dinesh Bassi had undertaken development work of the community hall, New Amritsar, Ram Talai Mandir GT Road Amritsar, Valla Stadium at Verka, 07 Acres Park at New Amritsar, an Under Bridge at Jorha Phatak Amritsar, Truck Stand Scheme and Smart Government School Chheharta from the year 2019 to 2021. Records of these works were being procured to investigate the irregularities thoroughly.
The spokesperson further said that Bassi had enlisted around 37 firms and after looking into the records it was found that these firms were registered as contractors against the instructions and rules issued by the government and without obtaining the required documents from these firms. These contractors had been allotted tenders / works worth crores of rupees by Dinesh Bassi abusing his position.
Giving more details he said, Dinesh Bassi had registered contractors without obtaining required documents of various commercial/residential plots as per the rules and regulations and misused his official position to allot tenders/works worth crores of rupees to these contractors.
The spokesperson revealed that taking undue advantage of his position, Bassi had illegally allotted various commercial/residential plots to his close associates, which included commercial plot SCO-79, 80, 81 District Shopping Complex and Residential Plot No. E-88, E-317, Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar.
In addition to this, illegal construction of Commercial Plot No. 135-136 at District Shopping Complex, Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar had been carried out in violation of government norms. Apart from this, files of some commercial/residential plots have been found missing from sale branch of the trust office Amritsar, the record of which has been sought from trust office, which would be thoroughly investigated.
The accused Dinesh Bassi had also allotted Verka Milk Booths to his close associates/relatives for giving them financial benefit, in posh areas of Amritsar city in violation of departmental rules.
"After receiving complaint against Dinesh Bassi, former chairman, and his associates Vikas Khanna and Raghav Sharma, it has came to notice that Sohan Singh s/o Jassa Singh had claimed through his attorney Kulwant Rai that he was alloted plot No.204-D in Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar in 1988 as he had deposited Rs.4,000 as token money to the trust on January 7, 1988 but no allotment was issued to him.
The cases filed by him in this regard have been dismissed by the Hon'ble Courts", said the spokesperson, adding that ignoring all this and by misusing his position, Dinesh Bassi in connivance with Raghav Sharma and Vikas Khanna allotted the plot to Surjit Kaur d/o Sohan Singh through Vikas Khanna at lower rate than the market and the registration of the same has been done at the rate lower than the collector rates.