Friday, January 20, 2012

Embezzlement in NREGA projects

Falsifying the much hyped claims of the government that Centrally sponsored schemes are properly implemented there has been reports of huge embezzlement in projects undertaken by National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and Total Sanitary Campaign (TSC) in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.

The embezzlement came to the fore after Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bandipora ordered an inquiry. The inquiry was ordered by DC after he received bulk of complaints from the residents of the district. The inquiry was ordered vide order number  ADF/Bpr/11/E-R/835 Dated 25-11-2011 by DC Bandipora and the inquiry has been completed.

The inquiry report reveals violation of norms in utilisation of schemes. The funds meant for rural development to handle the NREGA operations in various Panchayat blocks of Bandipora including Mantrgam, Pazalpora, Kralpora and Chandaji have been withdrawn in lakhs without proper work done by the concerned officers. Even the funds, the reports adds, meant for paying dues to NERGA labourers have not been paid despite passage of several months.

The inquiry report has brought Block Development Officers (BDOs) and Village Level Workers (VLW) of these blocks under the scanner for violating the norms. The inquiry team was headed by assistant director fisheries. After completing the inquiry, he submitted the report to DC.

The report mentions that most of the works executed under such schemes during the year 2010-2011 are only in papers while the funds have been withdrawn from the government exchequer. It reveals that there is embezzlement worth lakhs in 11 works in Kralpora, Chandaji, Chek, Pazzalpora, Mantrigam, Sheikhpora and Brarpora under NREGA scheme.

Report further reveals that the construction of Khol (Nallah)  with footpath and retaining wall from house of Ahad Mir to Chek Kralpora is only on papers while an amount of Rs 6 lakhs have been withdrawn after shown expended.

Same is the case with the construction of road with retaining wall from Ismail Najar towards Pazalpora Kralpora, an amount of 1.90 lakhs has been withdrawn. Further the construction of link road from Wahab Malik towards Aziz Sheikh at the cost of Rs 2 lakhs  has shown no progress after being taken over by NERGA. Report mentions that about 11 construction works are only limited to papers while the funds have been withdrawn against the construction.

In four villages of district Kralpora,Pazalpora,Mantrigam and Shiekhpora, the report reveals hundreds of villagers have been shown as labourers while the names on muster sheets are different. Even  the payment has been made to the labourers who have not received a penny besides working in the executed works.

Report further reveals that the hundreds of labourers have not been provided the job cards while most of the labourers engaged for the execution of developmental works have not been paid.

The information reveals that 98 percent of laborers worked for the Chandaji road construction has not been enlisted in muster rolls instead others have been enlisted who have not worked under the programme. Even persons close to officials from other areas have been shown as laboures, flouting the standing rule of NERGA that labourers are to be engaged within five kilometers radius.

The report further reveals that the Rs 4.56 lakh has been embezzled among expended 6 lakhs, it says that only 1.43 lakhs have been entered in the muster sheets among the 6.00 lakhs shown as expended.

The report also revealed that there is huge misappropriation of funds while implementing the TSC scheme in Mantrigam and Kralpora villages, it says that the in gross violation of rules several members of a single family have been benefited instead of benefiting one member from a single family.

Interestingly, a female Panch Mugli Begum has managed to get three latrines one for herself, One for her husband Muhammad Maqool and one for her daughter Shahnaza Bano, figuring respectively at serial number 97,224 and 228.

Similarly Kralpora village head Ghulam Mahi-ud-Din Tantray has managed to get three latrines, one  for himself, one for his wife Rafiqa and one for his son Ashiq Hussain, figuring at serial number 132,173 and 249.

Confirming that he has ordered an inquiry and received the inquiry report  deputy commissioner (DC) Bandipora Manzoor Ahmad Lone said some employees have been charge sheeted after the inquiry report was submitted. “Let the employees reply. We will act further against them people after we examine their replies,”   DC said.

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