BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to root out graft and irregularities in implementation of housing schemes launched by the State Government, the Vigilance Directorate has launched a special drive covering all administrative blocks across the State.
In the special drive, which was formally launched on June 25, nearly 34 officials and personnel involved in corruption to sanction money for house construction have been booked by the anti-corruption wing. The list also includes some beneficiaries who have faked identities and forged documents to avail the grants under Government schemes.
A Coordination Cell, headed by an SP-ranked officer has been setup at the Vigilance Directorate in Cuttack for executing the special drive. Sources said, Vigilance Director Dr RP Sharma is personally monitoring the activities of the cell on a daily basis.
“At the Collectors’ conference held recently, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had made his expectations explicit to make the housing schemes corruption-free and ensure that poor beneficiaries are not deprived of the availing the benefits,” Dr Sharma said.
The drive has been initiated to contain and minimise graft in the rural housing schemes and have a deterrent effect on corrupt public servants, he added. While the individual fund grants under these schemes is in the range of Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.20 lakh, in the last three weeks, the Vigilance has exposed irregularities of Rs 80 lakh approximately.
So far, 34 cases have been registered by different units of the State Vigilance. In these cases, 39 Panchayat Executive Officers, four Gram Panchayat Technical Assistants four junior engineers, one Sub Inspector of Schools, one Progressive Assistant and two Welfare Extension Officers have been booked under Prevention of Corruption Act.
The anti-corruption agency is receiving a large number of calls on its toll free number and the public is also using the social media platform to report corrupt practices in implementation of housing schemes.
The cases in which undeserving beneficiaries have been allotted financial assistance, were referred to Collectors of the district concerned.