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Mahisagar: Probe into misappropriation of MNREGA funds

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Written by Aditi Raja | Vadodara | October 16, 2020 5:36:46 am Parikh mentioned that he learnt in regards to the rip-off via official sources and determined to pursue the matter. (Representational)The Mahisagar district administration has initiated a probe into an alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 1 crore from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) initiatives, after a whistleblower wrote to numerous authorities departments, together with the Rural Development Depart in addition to the Gujarat Vigilance Commission, in search of an inquiry.
According to the petitioner, Indravadan Parikh, an advocate in Santrampur, 4 talukas of Mahisagar District — Santrampur, Lunawada, Virpur and Balasinor — have misappropriated funds from MGNREGA by making funds to 5 distributors for works that had been accomplished nearly three years in the past. Parikh mentioned that he learnt in regards to the rip-off via official sources and determined to pursue the matter.
“I got to know about a payment of Rs 19 lakh to a vendor in January 2019, for a work that was completed in the Santrampur block in 2006. The work was given completion certificate and locked with a digital signature as per the process. However, officials made a request to unlock and modify the signature and made a payment to a vendor who was not involved in the work,” Parikh advised The Indian Express.
In February 2020, Parikh sought data pertaining to MGNREGA initiatives throughout the district from the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) Mahisagar however because of the Covid-19 lockdown in March, the company didn’t revert to Parikh. All works underneath MGNREGA from the 4 blocks of the district are accomplished works associated to examine dams and a few forest division works from the earlier decade, sources added.
“In July this year, they sent me a back dated letter seeking payment of fees for the information to show that they had replied within the 30-day time frame of RTI but because they sent it by registered post, the date of posting the letter showed that they didn’t reply in time,” Parikh mentioned.
He then wrote to the Rural Development Department in addition to the Gujarat Vigilance Commission. “Both the departments took cognisance of my complaints and sought reports from the district department. The Director of DRDA Mahisagar is conducting an inquiry but they have not even replied to the Department or Commission,” he added.
A letter dated September 22 from Assistant Commissioner Rural Development Department Gujarat, Dev Chaudhary, to the Mahisagar District Development Officer seeks a report inside seven days with particulars of the mentioned allegation. However, the district is but to apprise the division.
Chaudhary advised The Indian Express, “We have received a complaint regarding the alleged payments made to vendors to the tune of Rs 1 crore. We sought a report but we have not received any reply from the district. We will send them a reminder again.”
Parikh added that the digital signatures couldn’t be modified with out the consent of the workplace of the Commissioner of the Rural Development Department as per the method and, due to this fact, the involvement of officers from each the DRDA in addition to the state authorities division can’t be dominated out.
“I told the Vigilance Commi-ssion that the DRDA Director of Mahisagar has not taken any action in the matter since January 2019 and so it does not appear to be a case of ignorance of facts. There are officials involved… to cover up, they had some of the five vendors return the money paid to them online but not all of them have returned the money,” Parikh mentioned. The distributors are from Godhra, Santrampur, Lunawada and Sehra.
Mahisagar DDO Neha Kumari didn’t remark regardless of repeated makes an attempt. 📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click right here to hitch our channel (@indianexpress) and keep up to date with the most recent headlines For all the most recent India News, obtain Indian Express App. © The Indian Express (P) Ltd

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