Louis Berger kickbacks
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 20: Under pressure in the wake of the alleged bribery scam in the multi-crore Guwahati water supply project, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today ordered a high level inquiry into the claims by US consultancy firm Louis Berger that it paid kickbacks to politicians and officials to win a contract.
In a statement here, Chief Minister Gogoi said he has asked Additiol Chief Secretary Subash Chandra Das to probe into the alleged scam and submit a report soon.
Gogoi said that if any prima facie evidence is found in the scam, the State government will refer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
But the Opposition BJP is not amused at the announcement and insisted that only a probe by the CBI can unearth the truth. BJP MP Ramen Deka said it was a "big allegation" and the truth can be unearthed only by CBI investigation.
"The State government should come clean on the funds received for the project, expenditure made so far and the progress of the projects. We will not be satisfied by an inquiry conducted by an additiol chief secretary who will turally be under political pressure," Deka said.
AGP president Atul Bora said the Tarun Gogoi-led government has been scripting a record of sorts in corruption. "Every day, new reports of scams are surfacing. This revelation by the US firm has shamed Assam at the intertiol level. We demand a high-level inquiry into the scam."
New Jersey-based firm Louis Berger has been charged with paying around $1 million in bribes for projects in Goa and Guwahati.
According to the papers released by the US Justice Department, bribes were paid to officials and a minister, whose mes were not revealed, for securing the project.