Pointing out that the projects were funded by the Centre, he added that the CBI should inquire into them if the CM hesitated to order a probe. Referring to the appointment of principal chief engineer of Chennai Corporation Pugalendhi as chief engineer of Commissionerate of Municipal Administration (CMA), replacing Natarajan, who has been appointed CE (quality certification) of Chennai Corporation, Stalin asked, “Is Chief Minister Palaniswami, who claims that he is ready for any investigation, ready to order CBI probe into projects worth Rs 17,000 crore, repeated extension given to Pugalendhi and expulsion of Natarajan from the office of chief engineer of CMA.”
Noting that it was usual to transfer officials who refuse to cooperate with Local Administration Minister SP Velumani, Stalin said the illegal transfer of CE of CMA was the height of corruption in 121 Municipalities and 15 Corporations in the State. Wondering why the CE of Chennai Corporation was appointed CE of CMA despite rules not permitting the same, the DMK president said that Pugalendhi, who had retired as chief engineer on June 30, 2016, was given extensions and elevated as Principal CE’s by Velumani on the ground that he was overseeing Rs 5,000 crore projects. Now, the same CE has been appointed CE of CMA overseeing Rs 12,000 crore Smart City project, Stalin said.
“What is the motive behind appointing the same chief engineer for projects worth Rs 17,000 crore,” questioned Stalin.