Madhya Pradesh Minister for Forest Umang Singhar has said that gross irregularities took place in planting six crore saplings along the Narmada river on July 2, 2017.
The Madhya Pradesh government led by Kamal Nath has ordered a probe into a plantation drive conducted two years ago under former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The administration claims that it has detected Rs 450 crore scam in what the previous dispensation called a sapling drive that took place along the Narmada river in July 2017.
Informing about the development, Madhya Pradesh Minister for Forest Umang Singhar on Friday said that gross irregularities took place in planting six crore saplings along the Narmada river on July 2, 2017. The Minister alleged a scam of Rs 450 crore by the previous administration and said that his government has asked the Economic Offences Wing to investigate the matter.
अपने आप को नर्मदा पुत्र कहलाने वाले @ChouhanShivraj जी ने जिस तरह 450 करोड़ का आर्थिक घोटाला किया है उन्होंने माँ नर्मदा का सीना छलनी किया है। में वादा करता हूँ कि इस घोटाले में जो भी दोषी पाए जाएंगे उन पर कार्यवाही करने से बक्शा नही जाएगा
— Umang Singhar (@UmangSinghar) October 11, 2019
Singhar has made it clear that the role of Chief Minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) and then officers will be investigated by the EOW.
Umang Singhar in a tweet said that he himself “investigated in Betul where there were to be 15000 pits but only around 9000 pits were found. On 2 July 2017, the Shivraj government did this kind of paper planting in a hurry. Whereas practically it is not possible to plant within a day,” the Minister said.
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According to reports, Singhar has told the probing agency that Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his forest minister and half a dozen top officials decided to plant saplings with the intention to benefit certain individuals and crores of rupees were swindled during the process.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan was the chief minister of the state from 2005 to 2018.
“Prima facie, plantation drive (under Shivaraj Singh government) appears to be a scam worth Rs 450 crore. Economic Offence Wing has been asked to probe the matter…It usually takes two years to prepare for plantation but it was done in 4-5 months, this was a nearly impossible task. The drive was conducted to create Guinness World Record, but that could not be created. It is a misuse of public money,” news agency ANI quoted the minister as saying.