UP’s power corridor: The curious case of Anoop Bartaria

CBI

Lucknow, April 12 :Anoop Bartaria had been booked by the CBI in 2017 in a cheating case for allegedly causing loss of Rs 209 crore to Syndicate Bank. His website claims he is “the artist, the engineer, the designer, the sculptor, the architect, the academician”.


It says he has executed more than 750 projects and most of them are “landmarks”. The projects include Amar Jawan Jyoti in Jaipur and World Trade Park, among others. What the website does not, expectedly, say is that Anoop Bartaria is allegedly involved in several scams and had been booked by the CBI in 2017 in a cheating case for allegedly causing loss of Rs 209 crore to Syndicate Bank.

A complaint was lodged that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to avail home loans/credit facilities from the bank by submitting forged and fabricated documents.

The funds then disbursed by the bank’s two branches were diverted and fraudulently siphoned to the companies owned by the accused, allegedly causing loss of approximately Rs 209 crore to the bank, sources said.

Anoop Bartaria, a tainted builder from Rajasthan, however, was given a red carpet welcome by the Yogi Adityanath government. He was assigned the task of developing the sacred Goverdhan Parikrama circuit in Vrindavan.

The beautification of ‘Goverdhan Parvat’ would include installation of a 300-ft statue of Lord Krishna and development of the ‘parikrama’ route.

Local residents raised protests over felling of trees in the region and beautification of the water bodies.

Though officials refused to divulge the details of the project, they admitted that it would “involve a few thousand crores”.

An official of the Braj Foundation admitted that Anoop Bartaria had been “welcomed” into the project at the behest of some senior leaders in the BJP and RSS but was later taken off the project.

“When we have high-level recommendations, we normally do not dare to delve into the antecedents of the person, and this is what happened in this case too. We are now hearing stories of his scams,” the official said, adding Anoop Bartaria is no longer involved in the project.

Anoop’s website has a photo gallery that carries his photographs with former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

None of the officials in the chief minister’s secretariat in Lucknow were willing to comment on the subject of Anoop Bartaria. A senior officer, however, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was initially not aware of the real face of the “architect”.

Principal Secretary information , Avanish Awasthi, also confirmed that Anoop Bartaria had been taken off the project. “He did give a presentation but the same was not accepted,” he said.

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