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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Vigilance department begins inquiry into dust bin scam, tourism minister under scanner

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Panaji:  Department of Vigilance on Monday began inquiry into the alleged dust bins scam by State tourism department with the first witness deposing before the Investigating officer.

A senior official from Vigilance department stated that the statement of complainant Inacio Domnick Pereira, representing NGO Hope Foundation, who had filed formal complaint against State Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, several officers of Tourism Department and private firm Drishti Lifesaving Services Private Limited, was recorded on Monday morning.

Police Sub Inspector Vijaykumar Chodankar, who is investigating the case, recorded the statement, in which the complainant has alleged that the lakhs of rupees were siphoned off on the name of providing dust bins on the beaches by providing fake bills.

Pereira stated that the government has officials in State tourism department has paid amount of Rs 63.84 lakh to Drishti Life Saving Private Limited, without floating tender by paying bribes to the government officials which is in the purview of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The complainant has provided replies under Right to Information Act to the vigilance department to substantiate his complaint.

“I say that the dustbins were not purchased and the funds were released to Drishti Life Saving Services Private Limited without any proper bills and without floating any tender thereby making loses to the government,” Pereira told the investigating officer.

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