Melamchi scam: RCCC summons secy Niraula

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 5:

The Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC) today summoned Tika Dutta Niraula, secretary (additional service), to interrogate him on the ‘irregularities’ that took place at the Melamchi Drinking Water Project during his tenure as the secretary of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works. Niraula had enforced a proposal that had recommended that the contract awarded to a private party to carry out the third phase of tunnel works be terminated. Niraula, however, did not furnish his explanation to the Commission due to “time constraint”. “He will be present tomorrow,” said Prem Raj Karki, the RCCC spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the RCCC also grilled eight people, who had received the Dashain dole from former minister Yuwaraj Gyawali, who represented the Communist Party of Nepal-UML in the Deuba government. The eight, CPN-UML supporters Ranadhoj Kandangwa, JB Tuhure, Rudra Nepal, Maya Gyawali, Dilli Khatiwada, Chhatra Bohara, Surya Bahadur Shahi, and Maheswor Mishra, were released after former members of the parliament, Krishna Lal Maharjan and Surendra Pandey, deposited a bail amount of over Rs 28.8 million at the RCCC.

Talking to reporters, Maya Gyawali, wife of the late CPN-UML leader Jibaraj Asrit, said she had accepted the money for her daughter’s treatment. The amount, she said, was not meant for Dashain expenditure. Dilli Khatiwada, who had received a sum of Rs 1,40,000, said he spent the money for his son’s treatment.

The RCCC also grilled the director-general of the Department of Forests, Jamuna Krishna Tamrakar. The chief accountant of the department, Bhagiraj Ingnam, also appeared before the RCCC today. He said that a person had tried to put him in trouble after he could not get the contract he wanted.

“I have been deceived,” he said, adding that the contractor had put a sum of Rs 50,000 on the pocket of his coat during his absence.

He said he had even asked the RCCC officials to examine his fingerprints on the bank notes.