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MP police ordered to probe Shivraj Singh Chouhan

THE ASIAN AGE. | RABINDRA NATH CHOUDHURY
Published : Oct 12, 2019, 3:29 am IST
Updated : Oct 12, 2019, 3:29 am IST

The minister alleged large scale corruptions in the implementation of the Rs 455 crore project.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
 Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday ordered a probe into alleged corruption in a massive plantation drive carried out along the banks of the Narmada by the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

State forest minister Umang Singh told repo-rters here that the Econo-mics Offence Wing (EOW) of the MP police has been asked to conduct a probe against Mr Chouhan, former state forest minister Gauri Shankar Shejwar and civil se-rvice and forest officers concerned of the state for their alle-ged invol-vement in the “plantation scam”.

The case pertains to July 2017 when Mr Chou-han, as chief minister of the state, had undertaken a drive to plant 6 crore saplings along the banks of Narmada in a day to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The minister alleged large scale corruptions in the implementation of the Rs 455 crore project.

Citing purported references made by officials of Guinness Book of World Records on the project, he said only 4.5 percent saplings were planted in accordance with the parameters.

He further claimed that costly saplings were brought from Maharashtra and Gujarat for plantation during the drive and JCB machines were used to dig up pits.

Pits were not even dug up in several places, he added.

According to government records, over 1.21 lakh sites were identified for plantation and 7.10 crore saplings were planted whereas the data given by Guinness Book of World Records officials to state government said there were on 5540 plantation sites and over 2.20 crore saplings were eventually planted, the minister said.

BJP has however dismissed the charges describing it a “propaganda exercise’ by the Kamal Nath government launched ahead the October 21 by-elections to Jhabua assembly constituency in MP.

“The state government has earlier made a statement in the assembly ruling out any irregularity in the plantation drive”, BJP spokesman here Rajneesh Agrawal said.

Tags: madhya pradesh government, shivraj singh chouhan government