Nepal | August 09, 2020

Ex-minister Pandey posts Rs 40m bail

• Sikta irrigation project scam

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, January 16

Former minister and Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader Bikram Pandey, who faces corruption charges, posted Rs 40 million bail at the Special Court today.

Global IME Bank guaranteed the bail amount, according to the court’s Spokesperson Bhim Kumar Shrestha.The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority on December 8 last year had filed a corruption case against 21 persons, including Pandey, accusing them of embezzling Rs 8.32 billion in the construction of main canal of Sikta irrigation project, a national pride project.

The CIAA charged them with using low quality materials in the construction of the project. Pandey was the chief of CTCE Kalika Construction JV that was involved in the construction of the project.

The CIAA has accused Pandey and Project Chief Ramesh Basnet of embezzling Rs 2.13 billion each, another Project Chief Dilip Bahadur Karki of embezzling Rs 1.56 billion, and senior divisional engineers Prakash Bahadur Karki, Krishna Prasad Subedi, Prem Raj Ghimire and Bir Singh Dhami of embezzling Rs 90 million, Rs 170 million, 100 million and  Rs 110 million respectively.

Project Chief Saroj Chandra Pandit, SDEs Yogendra Mishra, Shyam Bahadur Karki and Sushil Chandra Devkota, authorised agent of CTCE/ Kalika Construction JV Yuba Raj Chhetri and Managing Director of ERMC-ITECO Nepal JV Uddhav Raj Chaulagain have also been accused of embezzlement. Project Chief Sarvadev Prasad, SDEs Min Raj Dhakal, Superintendent Engineer Kamal Prasad Regmi, SDE Rabinay Babu Shrestha, Yub Raj Chhetri, authorised agent of ERMC-ITECO Nepal JV Hemnidhi Sharma and Irrigation Engineer of ERMC-ITECO Nepal JV Arun Kumar Chaudhary have been accused of not doing their job as per the rules, said CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwar Dangal.

The CIAA stated that the quality of the project was compromised due to lack of adequate supervision by technicians and consultants  the huge investment made in the project proved to be a waste of money.

A version of this article appears in print on January 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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