Two senior Uttarakhand IAS officers were suspended today in connection with the Rs. 300 crore NH-74 compensation scam, officials said.
The scam is related to the alleged conversion of land use with the connivance of officials to pay selected landowners compensation 20 times more than they deserved.
The land acquisition process took place between 2011 and 2016. The two IAS officers had served as district magistrates of Udham Singh Nagar during this period.
Pankaj Kumar Pandey and Chandresh Kumar, both of whom had recently been questioned by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) looking into the scam, were placed under suspension on the basis of the report submitted by the investigating panel, the suspension order said.
The SIT was headed by Udham Singh Nagar, senior superintendent of police Sadanand Date.
Twenty people, including four Provincial Civil Services officials, have been arrested by the SIT in connection with the scam.
The orders issued by additional chief secretary Radha Raturi charged the two officials with paying compensations worth crores in violation to provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, the National Highway Act 1956, government orders and guidelines for disposal of land acquisition arbitration cases.
While Pandey was accused of showing government land as private land, Kumar was was found guilty of showing agricultural land as non-agricultural to pay compensations worth crores of rupees to selected beneficiaries.
The scam worth over Rs. 300 crore was detected by erstwhile Kumaon commissioner D Senthil Pandiyan in the widening of the 300 km NH-74 in Udham Singh Nagar district, which goes from Haridwar to Bareilly.