KENDRAPARA:Government’s rural employment scheme, MGNREGS, has come under scanner in Singiri panchayat of Aul block in Kendrapara district. Here, MGNREGS wages are being drawn against names of beneficiaries who are no longer alive.
Upendranath Behera of Bankeswar village under Singiri panchayat died on August 12, 2006, and the Aul community health centre had issued a death certificate on September 14 the same year.
In 2013, Rs 3,000 was transferred to Upendranath’s bank account as his name figured in the muster roll for having worked for 30 days under MGNREGS. This is not the only case. Kalinidi Roula and Durga Charan Mallik of Bankeswar village under the same block died on October 19, 2009, but their names still exist in the muster roll and bank accounts have not been closed. With such irregularities coming to the fore, the local administration has called for an inquiry into the allegations.
Sources said money is being withdrawn against names of deceased persons fraudulently and funds misused by enlisting ghost beneficiaries and fake muster rolls. Even families of Upendranath, Kalinidi and Durga are not aware of the fraud.
Rights activist, Gayadhar Dhal said there are 25 such cases in Singiri panchayat where MGNREGS wages are being withdrawn against names of beneficiaries who are dead. He said, unscrupulous Government officials in charge of the scheme in nexus with panchayat and block officials are embezzling the funds.
Collector Debraj Senapati said the allegations are being investigated into and the money withdrawn fraudulently would be recovered from those found guilty.