Probe into Kolkata Metro ‘irregularities’

NEW DELHI: Probing the irregularities in the Indian railways after the bribery scandal, the CBI on Thursday registered a fresh preliminary enquiry to probe alleged irregularities in the procurement of coaches for Kolkata Metro Rail.

Highly placed sources say that Member (Electrical) in railway board — Kul Bhushan is under the scanner in this PE though the enquiry has been registered against unknown officials. The CBI had registered a PE against Kul Bhushan on Wednesday to probe the contract given to a private company for developing railway land.

The fresh PE, sources say, has been registered after irregularities have been noticed in the procurement of about 14 coaches worth close to Rs 300 crore for the Kolkata metro rail. Officials say that the contract was given by railway board to a Chinese company in 2011 and it has been found that ‘terms and conditions of tender were tweaked to benefit the private company’. “We have found some preliminary evidence after examining the documents collected from railway board. Now since we have registered the PE, we will start calling officials for questioning,” said an officer.

Sources say they will convert the PE into a regular case by end of this week since they have prima facie evidence.

The CBI had last month collected files related to all the important contracts in railway board and it was decided that irregularities in railways would be probed at length. CBI is also probing appointments and transfers/postings in the railway board and other departments of railways.

The agency had come across irregularities while probing an alleged bribery case in which member (staff) Mahesh Kumar was arrested alongwith Vijay Singla, nephew of former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.