Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Electoral bonds: UP company gave Rs 10 crore to BJP four weeks after bagging contract for Kashmir tunnel

In December 2019, months after Kashmir had been stripped of its special status under the Constitution and statehood, Lucknow-based infrastructure firm Apco Infratech Private Limited secured a contract in the Kashmir Valley to build a tunnel, and less than four weeks after receiving the go-ahead for the project, the firm donated 10 crores to the BJP through electoral bonds.

This data was revealed by the Election Commission of India on Thursday and in a report by Project Electoral Bonds, a collaborative investigative journalism project.

On December 19, 2019, Apco Infratech was issued a “letter of award” by the Union territory administration to execute the construction of the 6.4 km-long Z-Morh tunnel in Ganderbal district. Being built at a cost of Rs 2,716 crores, the tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to the popular hill station Sonamarg and beyond.

On January 15, 2020, the firm donated 10 crores to the Bharatiya Janata Party through electoral bonds.

In January 2022, the firm also donated electoral bonds worth Rs 10 crore to the BJP. Seven months later, the firm won a contract from the National Highways Authority of India to construct a 28.92 km stretch of the 650-km Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway.

Being constructed at a cost of Rs 1547.91 crore, the firm has won the contract to build two stretches in the Jammu division of Jammu and Kashmir – a 13.3 km section between Kunjwani and Sidhra and a 15.62 km section between Domel and Katra.

The company also donated 10 crores to the BJP through electoral bonds in 2023, bringing the total amount to 30 crore.

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