New Delhi: CBI has set up a preliminary enquiry into the scam related to alleged irregularities in the operations of Kolkata Port Trust which has caused an estimated loss in thousands of crores of rupees to the exchequer.
Highly placed sources said the agency started the enquiry last week against unnamed persons. However, they added the names of some influential people might surface during the inquiry as handling of onshore activities in ports is a huge business.
The sources said they have asked the officials of Kolkata Port Trust to furnish all the documents related to operations of Haldia dock and records of tendering, cargo handling etc as soon as possible.
They said the agency is looking into allegations that senior officials of the port allowed a private agent to handle shore operations at Haldia dock for years without any revenue-sharing mechanism causing losses which run into thousands of crores of rupees.
The sources said the officials allegedly allowed unauthorised agents to take up onshore operations which is in violation of of the Major Port Trust Act. The agency said that according to a complaint the private agents were not under the control of the KoPT and were paying meagre license fee pocketing hundreds of crore of rupees as profit.
The sources said the license fee paid by the private agents who are operational since 1977 is nothing compared to profits earned by them by handling onshore operations.
They said the agency will go into all aspects of the allegations and soon file a regular case in this connection. Haldia Dock Banchao Committee and Haldia Dock Officers' Forum had raised the corruption issue and demanded a CBI inquiry. Recently, the Shipping Ministry handed over the probe to CBI.