Sat, 10 Jun 2023

Panaji (Goa) [India], May 26 (ANI): Alleging that taxpayers' money is being robbed openly while executing substandard work of Panaji Smart City, Congress on Thursday demanded an investigation by a judicial officer.

Congress leader Elvis Gomes, while addressing a press conference along with General Secretary Vijay Bhike, North District President Virendra Shirodkar and Panjim block Mahila President Lavinia Da'costa in Congress House, alleged that Board members of 'Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd' are involved in this Rs 1,140 crores corruption.

"Panaji BJP MLA and Revenue Minister Atanasio Monserrate have admitted that ongoing work of Panaji 'Smart City' is sub-standard. He is part of the government, hence when the government admits corruption then FIR should be registered against those involved," Gomes said.

"While carrying out work in a smart city people's money is being robbed openly. This government has no right to continue. Monserrate and others who are involved in this can't escape from this corruption. They are part of it," Gomes said, adding hopes to expose their lies in a judicial investigation.

"Smart City board has all powers in regards to the project of a smart city. The Chief Secretary, who is the chief vigilance officer of the state, is the chairman. Hence the question arises of who will take action on whom. MLA Atanasio Monserrate is on the Board, his mayor son is on board, they all are involved in this corruption," Gomes said.

"We demand action. Tax payer's money is robbed in daylight. It is a Rs 1,140 crore scam. What has the government done to investigate it?" he questioned.

Gomes pointed out that when work on such big projects is carried out, it was the duty of the concerned board to give information on development to the public.

"There should be a weekly 'e-tour' giving information about works carried out. They are required to show the progress of work. Have they shown it, they never showed it," Gomes said.

"We had asked them 50 questions in regard to the Smart City project, but no question has been answered. We had asked the Controller Auditor General to do a special audit, but they refused to do it. This means someone directly from the centre is interfering," he said.

He said that even the Registrar of Companies failed to take action against the board of directors despite failing to file annual returns.

"They should be suspended," he said. (ANI)

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