IAS officer suspended for delaying swimming pool at Saifai

The UP government has suspended a 1998-batch IAS officer, who retires next month, for sitting on files related to release of funds for an all-weather swimming pool at Saifai for two months. Saifai is Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's native village.

Shailesh Kumar Singh, who is serving as Director Sports, was on his way to the village to attend Saifai Mahotsav when he was informed about his removal.

Singh was suspended with immediate effect Wednesday

"I cannot speak anything on the issue right now because I have not yet reached Lucknow and have not been officially handed over the suspension order" Singh told The Indian Express.

A statement issued by the state government reads: "Obstruction was being created in the development of sports activities in the state. He (Singh) held the file related to revised estimate for construction of Saifai swimming pool for two months. The file was cleared by him after intervention of senior officials of the government, but he did not clarify the reason for the delay."

In November 2012, the Cabinet cleared the construction of an "all-weather international swimming pool in Saifai at a cost of Rs 103 crore. The tender for the same was floated by Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam in March 2013. The state government, however, wanted to upgrade the facilities that pushed up the cost. This revised estimate was then sent by the sports department headed by the IAS officer.

While the officer is yet to be served a chargesheet, other reasons cited by the state government include: "Not sending a proposal for Rs 5 crore allocated by the government in 2013-2014 financial year for promotion of sports activities in the state; and releasing order to working agencies for construction and purchase of furniture without waiting for government's decision on Central Procurement policy."

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