CBI books 21 senior BSNL officials for graft; searches 25 locations

Officials said the CBI conducted searches on Friday of 25 locations in connection with flight information recorded against 21 BSNL officials, including the former general manager.

The main investigation agency alleged that the accused officials entered into a conspiracy with a contractor to deceive Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

The CBI has filed an FIR against officials at BSNL Assam Circle, including former general manager, deputy general manager, assistant general manager, and chief account officer at Jorhat, Sibsagar, Guwahati and elsewhere, they said.

Officials said the FIR also mentioned the name of a private person.

A CBI spokesperson said in a statement, “It was alleged that the contractor secured a work order for laying the National Fiber Optic Network cable through open trenching method at a price of Rs 90,000 per kilometre.”

“It was also alleged that subsequently, the contractor made various pleas, including lack of right-of-way from the private landowner, to convert the open trenching method to horizontal directional drilling method at Rs 2.30 lakh per kilometer despite provision of right-of-way and easement clause in the contract. , thus breaching the bid condition and causing a loss of Rs 22 crore (approx.) to BSNL,” the official said.

He said that after registering the FIR recently, the CBI on Friday conducted searches at 25 locations, including the offices and residences of the accused in Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Haryana.

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