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District Mineral Foundation funds ‘used’ for renovating DRDA office in Odisha

The misappropriation came to light after an RTI activist sought details about expenditure of the DRDA office renovation on August 2. 

Published: 25th August 2019 10:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2019 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

JEYPORE: Koraput administration has started an inquiry into the alleged misutilisation of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds for renovation and beautification of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) office. 

According to norms, DMF funds are meant for development of people and areas affected by mines across Odisha but in Koraput, Rs 65 lakh of the funds were used for renovation and beautification of the DRDA office in violation of the guidelines.

The misappropriation came to light after an RTI activist sought details about expenditure of the DRDA office renovation on August 2. 

The money was spent earlier this year and to escape the public eye, an amount of Rs 5 lakh was drawn 13 times for the purpose.

Collector Madhusudan Mishra ordered an inquiry into the matter. 

The incident comes at a time when oustees of Kasipur, Dasmantpur and Laxmipur have been demanding development of areas close to Kodingamali mines under DMF funds.

DRDA officials clarified that the works were done after approval of Koraput DMF trust board committee Chairman-cum-District Collector. “The works were proposed and approved under institutional mechanism component of DMF and tenders for the works were officially floated,” said Maheswar Nayak, former in-charge of DRDA, Koraput. It was during his tenure that works were started under the agenda for 2018-19 financial year.

The DMF office functions in the 26-year-old DRDA building which was in a dilapidated condition.

While the officials concerned should have used the funds only for development or renovation of the DMF unit, they went ahead with renovation of the entire building including chambers of DRDA officials.

This despite the fact that Panchayatiraj Department has its own funds for renovation of DRDA offices.

Cash worry

DMF funds of Rs 65 lakh that should have been used for development of people and areas affected by mines across Koraput, were used for renovation and beautification of the DRDA office.

The Koraput DMF office functions in the 26-year-old DRDA building which was in a dilapidated condition. 

While the officials should have used the funds only for development or renovation of the DMF unit, they went ahead with renovating the entire building including chambers of DRDA officials.

More from Odisha.

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