Punjab: Raja Warring now on Vigilance radar, agency scanning documents, fear of scam worth Rs 100 crore

Pankaj Prasad
Amrinder Singh Raja Warring
Amrinder Singh Raja Warring

Amarinder Singh Raja Warring has come under the radar of Vigilance Bureau after allegations of getting the chassis of the state's buses from Rajasthan at an expensive price.

Punjab State President of Congress and former Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja Warring has come under the radar of Vigilance Bureau after allegations of getting the chassis of the state's buses from Rajasthan at an expensive price. The state government has ordered the Andarkhata Vigilance Bureau to investigate against Raja Warring. Vigilance is now busy scanning the documents of the transport department. Raja Vading was made the Transport Minister in the cabinet of Charanjit Singh Channi in the year 2021.

It is noteworthy that recently Raja Vading had accused Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of giving government jobs in Punjab to the people of Rajasthan and Haryana. After it came to light that six of the seven sub-inspectors recruited in Mansa were Haryana residents, Vading had accused the government of ignoring Punjabis. In response to this, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had also accused Vading of getting the bodies of Punjab buses made in Rajasthan at expensive prices and also getting their fitting done in Rajasthan itself.

Then CM Mann had told Raja Vadig that 'Wait for a few days, big action will be taken against you too.' In this matter, Chief Minister Mann had said that people from other states come to Punjab to get the bus body fitted but Raja Vadig goes to Rajasthan and gets the bus body fitted. Was getting the body fitted.

Vigilance Bureau officials said that currently investigation of the documents has been started. If any kind of rigging is revealed then Vigilance will take further action. According to the documents available with the Bureau, during the tenure of Raja Vading, 841 buses were purchased for Punjab Roadways, whose body (chassis) was made in Rajasthan and the contract for their fitting was also given to a Jaipur company.

The chassis of each bus was purchased for Rs 26 lakh. The Bureau suspects that there is a big commission involved in this purchase. This is the market price at which the chassis were purchased whereas the absence of any discount from the manufacturer in the bulk purchase of 841 chassis raises the suspicion that commission worth lakhs has been incurred in the purchase of each chassis.

Apart from this, the work of chassis fitting of 841 buses was also given to BMMS company of Jaipur at the rate of Rs 11.98 lakh per chassis, whereas the chassis fitting companies in Punjab at that time were doing this work at a much lower rate. Vigilance has found that when Raja Vading was the Transport Minister, fitting of semi-deluxe bus chassis in Punjab was done for Rs 6-7 lakh and fitting of ordinary bus chassis was done for Rs 4-5 lakh. Despite this, the fitting was done by paying Rs 11.98 lakh per chassis to a Rajasthan company, due to which the Punjab Transport Department has lost about Rs 100 crore.

Also accused of distributing large number of route permits to his favorites

Raja Vading, when he was Transport Minister, has also been accused of distributing a large number of route permits to private operators and his favourites. The Vigilance Bureau is also investigating the matter, for which it has sought details of transport department permits that were issued during Vading's tenure.

The matter came into discussion only after the formation of AAP government

This matter had come into discussion ever since the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab, when the then Transport Minister of the AAP government, Laljit Singh Bhullar, had openly alleged that Raja Vading, when he was a minister, was involved in purchasing and installing bus bodies. A big scam has happened. Bhullar had also issued orders for investigation in this matter but the matter could not proceed further.