Misappropriation of fund slur over implementation of NREGS

Shillong, Aug 19: An inquiry was demanded by the residents of Mawkhar-Pasir village in East Khasi Hills District into the alleged misappropriation of fund in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MNREGS).

The matter came to light after 12 residents of Mawkhar-Pasir village under Mylliem C&RD Block jointly sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 from the BDO office on the implementation of various projects sanctioned under the MNREGS from 2017 to 2019.

Highlighting RTI findings on Monday, Trycolour Kurkalang told reporters that the information revealed that over Rs 32 lakh was misappropriated by the village employment council (VEC) in the implementation of nine different projects which include construction of motorable roads, drainage system, retaining walls, check dams among others.

Kurkalang said that on receiving the information, they immediately conducted site inspections of all the projects.

“We found that for instance a motorable road in the village was sanctioned for Rs 14.77 lakh, but the VEC utilized only Rs 10 lakh and another Rs 13 lakh was sanctioned for constructing a 3.5 meter road, but only 3 meter was constructed at Rs 6 lakh,” he said.

Similarly, he said that in the case of other projects, there has been mismatched between the work shown in papers and works done on the ground.

Kurkalang informed that the 12 residents have also brought the matter to the notice of the deputy commissioner for necessary action.

“However, despite submitting a reminder letter, we are yet to get any response from the DC office till today,” he lamented.

Kurkalang said that the objective of seeking information under the RTI Act was to ensure transparency in the implementation of such schemes. “We demand that the DC should institute an inquiry into the matter at the earliest, otherwise the objective of fighting against corruption would be defeated,” he said.