“Under MGNREGA, the Panches have drawn money on their own names, names of their families, disabled persons, pension holders, mentally disabled persons, old aged senior citizens above 70 years and all relatives of sarpanch and panches on fictitious job cards”
Notwithstanding the tall claims of the government of bringing transparency and accountability in public service system by strengthening the Panchayats, an intuitive case of alleged misappropriation of funds under fictitious names has reportedly surfaced from village Sangwali Panchayat Halqa Sangwali, Tehsil Ghagwal, District Samba.
According to the highly placed sources, a complaint in this regard has been submitted with the Deputy Commissioner Samba as well as the Anti-Corruption Bureau. However, concerned authorities expressed their ignorance about the matter.
“Seeking investigation in misappropriation of funds, a complaint has been filed before the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Samba on 29-12-2020, meanwhile a complaint was also filed with Anti-Corruption Body,” said sources, adding that alleged embezzlement of funds goes unabated since past almost one decade.
As per the complaint (Copy along with relevant documents to suffice the allegations is in possession of The Typewriter), the complainant stated that Government is providing huge funds for the overall development of village Sangwali Panchayat Halqa Sangwali, Tehsil Ghagwal District Samba and also different employment schemes are being launched in the villages, but the benefits did not reach the bonafide villagers.
“Since 2010, the funds provided for the development of Panchayat Halqa Sangwali has been misused and never sincerely utilized for the purpose, but have been drained into the pockets of Sarpanch/Panches/BDOs/Gram Sewek/GRS/Panchayat Secretary and JEs with mutual consent and understandings,” reads the content of the complaint, adding, “Whatever funds BDO, Ghagwal has received since 2010 till date has not been fully utilized for the works meant for under various government schemes.”
The complainant alleged that hardly 10 percent of the total funds have been utilized for the development, which is mere an eye wash.
Complaint reads, “Funds have been withdrawn on the fictitious names and bills have been drawn against use of tractor/JCB/Damper etc, when the same does not either figure on records with proper registration number or the registration number mentioned does not exist at all,” adding, “Instead fictitious owners have been created, who does not hold any such type of earth moving machines in their names.”
Complainant stated that Ravi Kumar of Bhagocha Chack received money for use of tractor carrying earth, whereas he does not hold or own any tractor or such heavy machines.
Complaint alleged that similarly, there are more people who received money against use of earth moving machines and load carriers, when such persons never owned any earth moving machines or load carriers.
“Under MGNREGA, huge funds have been misused by putting fictitious names of job-card holders. So much so, the Panches have drawn money on their own names, names of their families, GRS-Banchan Kumar, disabled persons, pension holders, mentally disabled persons, old aged senior citizens above 70 years and all relatives of sarpanch and panches on fictitious job cards,” alleged complaint, adding, “Huge payment has been drawn on fictitious bills, so much so signatures have been affixed on such fictitious bill by BDO, Sarpanch and Panches, Panchayat Secretary.”
The complainant asserted that fictitious bills have been prepared on plain papers and drawn on fictitious names. Complainant also stated that a group of ‘plunderers’ have also withdrawn money against fictitious works, which actually have not been executed at all.
“Lane and drains constructed during the year 2014 have been repeatedly shown as constructed during 2016 and thereafter in 2018, against which huge amounts has been withdrawn when these drains and lanes stands constructed in the year 2014,” reads the complaint, adding, “In addition to above lane and drains shown as constructed on records and huge amounts drawn, such drain and lanes do not exist on ground. This fact can be investigated so that factual position is surfaced.”
The complainant alleged that quantities of culverts shown as constructed on records do not exist at all, however few culverts have been constructed against which huge amounts have been withdrawn wherein many non-existing culverts have been induced under corrupt practices.
“This needs to be investigated. Proper probe much be initiated to ascertain the number of culverts constructed and amounts drawn after showing huge number of culverts as constructed on records,” reads the copy, adding, “Huge amounts shown on books for the construction of Panchayat Ghar at Sangwali, needs to be investigated on spot. This factual position can be ascertained during the checking and investigating the spot of construction by engineers.”
The copy of the complaint reads that the toilets under MGNREGA shown as constructed do not exist on ground level. In addition, to loot the public exchequer, they have shown damaged houses, whereas on ground no house has been damaged. This fact may be investigated.
“Under Development Scheme MGNREGA, works shown like pond, Nallah, Cremation ground, lane, diversion of drain, earth filling in school. Actually such works do not exist on ground, but on papers against which huge amounts have been withdrawn and drained in the pockets with mutual understanding and benefits of share. This needs to be investigated on ground level,” reads the complaint.
The complaint maintained that in addition to the above stated corrupt deeds, the gang of Sarpanch, Panches and BDO staff projected on records excavation work/filling of earth as carried by the card holders.
“As a matter of fact the works were carried by tractor and trolleys and payment drawn against the card holder (wrongly shown) has been mutually transferred in the name of relatives of Sarpanch, Panches and close ones of BDO and his staff,” stated the complaint copy.
Taking dig at the local sarpanch, complainant alleged that the corrupt Tarseem Singh Choudhary, Sarpanch Panchayat Halqa Sangwali (Samba) has prepared BPL Ration Card of 1000 families, whereas such families do not fall under BPL category. In turn said Sarpanch has taken huge bribes from such families.
“About 263 Kanals of State Land type Khad leading from National Highway to Swani Tallai Forest has been disposed of by Tarseem Singh Choudhary in connivance with revenue officials,” alleged the complainant, adding “Revenue officials have forged the revenue records by mentioning the land as agricultural land under cultivation of Tarseem Singh Choudhary (Instead Khad exists from Jatwal High School NHW to Swani Talai Forest).”
When contacted Sarpanch Tarseem Singh Choudhary, said that this is a matter of enquiry and it should be investigated.
“First of all the addressee (complainant) is unknown. I am unable to trace him. My panchayat has only 468 households, how come I prepare BPL cards for 1000 families, as he had alleged,” said Choudhary, adding that the allegations of encroachment of forest land needs to be investigated.
He, however, stated that there is no order prohibiting old-age person, disabled people to be provided job cards under MGNREGA.
Talking to The Typewriter, Deputy Commissioner Samba, Rohit Khajuria feigned ignorance about the matter and said that he has not received any such complaint.
“I have not received any complaint about the matter. I will see into it,” said Khajuria.