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CBI books ex-BCCL CMD in tipper purchase scam

New Delhi: The CBI on Friday filed a case against former Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Coking Coal Limited T K Lahiry and other former senior officers of the company in the purchase scam of 100 tippers in 2013 at an "exorbitant cost" which resulted in wrongful gain of Rs 97 crore to Larsen and Toubro.
In its FIR, the CBI has also booked the then directors Ashok Sarkar, Dinesh Chandra Jha, General Managers A N Sahay, S K Panigrahi, Barain Sinha, G Upreti, A K Gangopadhyay, and Larsen and Toubro Pvt Ltd.
It is alleged that the accused persons in pursuance of the criminal conspiracy between 2012 and 2013 had approved the purchase of 100 tippers, a kind of heavy duty truck, for an estimated cost of Rs 383 crore for replacing existing dumpers.
The CBI has alleged that the approval for the purchase proposal was given without any support of documents and expert opinion of Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI).
It is also alleged in the FIR that no justification was given for material change in the requirement from dumper to tipper for altering "time tested" practice of use of dumpers for mining operation in contravention of laid down guidelines of Coal India.
The FIR has claimed that open cast mines of the public sector undertaking Bharat Coking Coal Limited are small patches having restrictions in length and width.
Dumpers are specially meant for off-road applications whereas tippers are primarily meant for highway operations, the FIR said.
"Dumpers were being used by the BCCL and subsidiaries of CIL for different coal mines and this was found to be time tested equipment over a period of time," it said.
It said only dumpers are suitable for plying in BCCL mines due to different mines conditions like deeper seams, constraint in haul road width, among others.
The Material Management Department of BCCL had prepared Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) for the procurement of 100 dumpers in 2012.
"Initially, BCCL management had approved the indents for purchase of 100 dumpers with maintenance but later on tippers were also added without getting any endorsement or vetting by the CMPDI as laid down in CIL purchase manual and without getting approval by the Board of Directors of BCCL," it said.
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