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Jharkhand orders judicial probe into ‘irregularities’ in construction of new assembly, HC buildings

Ranchi, May 17: The Jharkhand goverment on Tuesday approved an investigation by a judicial commission into the alleged ‘irregularities’ in the construction of the newly-built Jharkhand assembly and under construction high court building.

Both these projects were initiated and the tender awarded during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government headed by Raghubar Das, who recently accused chief minister Hemant Soren of conflict of interest in the mining department granting him lease for mining of stone chips in the outskirts of Ranchi. Soren is in-charge of the mining department.

In a brief statement issued by the public relations department, the government said, “The Jharkhand government has directed a probe by a judicial commission into all irregularities in the construction of Jharkhand assembly and high court buildings.”

However, the state government did not clarify whether it will be a single member commission or more. The judicial probe comes in addition to the ACB probe ordered by the chief minister last year. On July 1, 2021, chief minister Hemant Soren had ordered a probe into ‘financial irregularities’ by the state’s anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in the construction of the two projects

A portion of the false ceiling on the first floor of the state assembly building collapsed in May last year reportedly due to leakage in the roof, raising questions over the quality of construction of the structure.

Questions were also raised about materials used in building the new high court.

The government, in its communication, did not mention about the progress of the investigation by the anti-corruption bureau into the alleged irregularities.

The three-storied assembly building, constructed at a cost of Rs 465 crore, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 12, 2019, 19 years after the state was carved out of Bihar.

The foundation stone of the building was laid by former BJP chief minister Raghubar Das in 2015.

Previously, the state assembly was functioning from a building of the Heavy Engineering Corporation.

The new high court building was also constructed at the same time

The assembly complex, spread over around 39 acres, has come up at a cost of Rs 465 crore, while the estimated cost of the upcoming HC building is reportedly Rs 697 crore.

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