BANGALORE : Streets littered with garbage and crater-like potholes make a citizen’s daily routine torture
While citizens crumble under the burden of having to travel through stinking pot-holed streets, those responsible for rectifying the damage have been lining their pockets at our expense
While Bangaloreans continue to live surrounded by garbage and risk life and limb every day navigating the hundreds of potholes, the civic administrators, it seems, is making hay while the proverbial sun shines.
But it looks like all that’s about to end. A two-day-long Income Tax (I-T) raid comprising over 450 sleuths raided around 100 houses and found unaccounted income of up to Rs 200 crore, 15 kg gold and Rs 4 crore in cash.
After finding the cache I-T investigators have now decided to dig deeper into the business activities of contractors who handle garbage collection and disposal, and road asphalting within BBMP limits.
Theraide began early in the morning of October 9 and continued into the 10th. Investigators from the Bangalore and Chennai units, worked under the guidance of seven Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officers. Director (Income Tax), Ravichandra supervising the operation. Around 100 houses mostly in Bangalore and few in Bijapur, Gulbarga, Udupi, Raichur, Pune, Mumbai, Gurgaon were raided.
“We have discovered a contractor-bureaucrat-politician nexus through these raids. In the coming days, those who have benefited from these contractors, mainly politicians and bureaucrats will be targeted,” a senior I-T department officer told Bangalore Mirror.
The investigators were astonished by the amount of unaccounted income that was discovered during the raid. ‘Before conducting this raid, which we planned based on a tip-off, we did our homework and drew up a list of contractors and then segregated them under BBMP Garbage Contracts Mafia, BBMP Road Contracts Asphalt Mafia, and Irrigation Contracts Mafia. Then we kept a watch on these people. A special raid team was drawn from IT units located in Chennai. This was done to maintain utmost secrecy regarding the raids. The result of this is the detection of huge amount of unaccounted money,” the officer added. More than 100 investigators are now scrutinising documents found in the homes raided. Some property documents recovered from reveal a number of fronts connected to influential politicians and bureacrats involved in the civic administration of Bangalore.” the officer added.
Separate teams focussed on 24 garbage contractors. “There is a serious mismatch between the annual returns statement filed by them and the wealth found in their homes,” IT sources said. Similarly, teams conducted raids on the premises of 15 BBMP road work asphalt contractors.
Another important mafia that was targetted by the investigators is contractors who bag work from the irrigation department and the PWD.
According to one IT officer, “Bureaucrats and politicians give work to these contractors who do inferior work and siphon off huge sums of money. This money, or part of it, is then given back to the
bureaucrats and politicians. Who in turn ask them to invest it in property under aliases. A substantial amount has been invested in places like Gurgaon, Pune and Mumbai.”
(By Hemanth Kashyap, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Oct 21, 2014)