Mamata threatens to seize property of corrupt contractors

Bankura:West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday threatened to seize the property of corrupt contractors by formulating a new law as she asked her officials to utilise the services of anti-graft officials to bust thriving corruption rackets in government departments.

Addressing a Bankura district administrative meeting here, Banerjee asked the police and the administration to file an FIR and start a criminal case against the contractor who constructed the water tank at Sarenga that collapsed last month.

The video footage of the huge overhead water tank collapsing like a pack of cards on January 15 went viral on social media after it was captured on mobile phones by some locals.

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With local television channels repeatedly telecasting the footage of the two-year-old tank crashing down, the government had drawn flak from the opposition parties.

“One project was completed, but the tank collapsed. Which contractor did the job? The same contractor has to repair it. And you must file an FIR and press criminal charges against him,” the Chief Minister said.

“If need be, the government will seize his property. I will formulate a new law. We are having a lot of problems with the contractors. You must control the them,” she added.

Banerjee also alleged that there was a corruption ring in the state’s land, public health and engineering departments.

“When contractors are given a job, they think they can pull enough strings. This is creating problems. If need be, change the contractors. I don’t want to hear anything.

“Why should my government get a bad name for public health and engineering officials? There is a thriving corruption racket in those departments. Utilise the state anti-corruption branch, and everything will fall in place,” she added.

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