Lucknow: The CBI investigation in the multi-crore airport runway and apron construction scandal has unraveled the involvement of the top management of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The CBI team probing the scam has discovered prominent proofs of the management neglecting the complaints made into this regard. The scam has been found to be a well-planned strategy not just with an intention to mint money but to tarnish the image of the department as well. 

During the investigations, the CBI found a letter written on October 30, 2009 by the Airports Authority of India (Vigilance) General Manager Deepak Shastri to an eminent officer of the Authority.
 
The vigilance team found that at the time of writing the letter, the construction work of apron at the Varanasi airport was in its initial phase. It also discovered that 3,000 less bags of cement were used in the construction. It was mentioned in the letter that the standard ratio of cement, sand and concrete was not being followed and the material used was also of poor quality.

The investigations revealed that in spite of the complaints into the shortcomings, the management kept mum on taking any action.

Moreover, when AAI Senior Manager (Vigilance) A Pandey complained of irregularities during the tender and construction process at the Lucknow airport, no heed was paid to it.

A similar case is recorded in the CBI, Cochin Branch. All such revelations concluded that the conspiracy has been hatched at a higher level. The CBI is now preparing to question a top official in this regard.

During the raids, a manager told the CBI that when he showed interest in unearthing the irregularities, he was signaled to maintain silence on the issue.

While questioning, the engineers and managers revealed that 10,300 metric tonne of cement was specified in the estimate for the Varanasi airport apron project and much higher prices were specified in the outlay at the time of approval.

(JPN/Bureau)