In a bold step against corruption Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has suspended two IAS officers Pankaj Kumar Pandey and Chandresh Yadav in connection with the National Highway (NH) 74 land scam.
The two officers were suspended on the basis of the findings of Special Investigation Team (SIT). The team submitted its findings, "alleging irregularities worth Rs 300 crore in the acquisition of farmland for the purpose of proposed NH 74 between 2011 and 2016," The New Indian Express reported. The report was submitted to the
the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
The Hindustan Times reported that this is the first time that such an action has been taken against the IAS officers. The report says, quoting state BJP media in charge, Devendra Bhasin :“Earlier, action was taken against some 22 officials involved in the NH-74 scam. All of them are in jail now.” He added that the suspension of the IAS officers “clearly validates the party’s policy of zero tolerance to corruption”.
Current chief minister of the hill state Trivendra Singh Rawat had ordered
a SIT probe into the NH-74 scam days after taking over power from Congress and former CM Harish Rawat. BJP had registered a landslide victory in the 2017 assembly polls and had won all five seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. HT reports that Trivendra Singh Rawat had assured action against the guilty "regardless of whether the accused was a junior level official or any bureaucrat."