‘The graft is to the tune of Rs 800 crore every year, and is being shared between 7-10 officers posted there’.

 

NEW DELHI: The Lucknow office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has received a complaint regarding massive corruption taking place at the Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Rae Bareli, to the tune of approximately Rs 800 crore every year and is being shared between 7-10 officers posted there. As per the content of the complaint, which was likely drafted and sent by an insider, at least 15% to 20% of the total cost of approximately Rs 4,000 crore that MCF spent on manufacturing the 2,000 new coaches in the financial year 2019-2020, has allegedly been spent as commission and bribe on senior railway officials posted at MCF. MCG manufactures rail coaches for the Indian Railways.

As per the details, the MCF had produced 1,425 coaches in 2018-19 and that figure crossed 2,000 units in 2019-20.

The complaint has named retired and serving senior railway officers of the rank of Principal Chief Commercial Manager(s)—who are responsible for finalising the details of tenders and the companies who eventually get the orders—as the beneficiary of this corrupt practice.

Vk Dubey, the CPRO of the coach factory, while responding to the Sunday Guardian’s email, said that the organisation was not aware of any instance of corruption taking place in MCF.

The complaint, which has been sent to S.K. Khare, who heads the Lucknow office of the CBI, has given the breakup of the bribe that is allegedly charged at every stage by these officers from the vendors who participate in the bidding process for construction of the coaches.

As per the complaint, at the stage of the finalisation of the tender, 2-3% of the total cost of the tender is charged, 1% is charged at the time of the issuance of the Release Order (RO) and so on. The purchase order, as per the complaint, is only issued after the money has been paid by the suppliers, which includes well-known companies, to these officials.

The complaint has also stated that many safety features installed in these coaches were being approved by the officials concerned without inspection from RITES Limited (also known as Rail India Technical and Economic Service). This was being done as sub-standard products were being installed in these coaches by the vendors to increase their profit margin in lieu of the bribe that they were giving to the officials.  In some cases, as per the complaint received by the CBI office, the payment of many vendors amounting to lakhs and crores of rupees, the contract of which has already been executed, are stopped by the senior officers who replace the existing one in order to seek commission for themselves. The exchange of the commission, as per the complaint, takes place outside Rae Bareli after the officers avail leave and travel to other “safer” places to take their share of commission.