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Lokayukta lens on Nagada funds

Justice Ajit Singh to visit Nagada village next month to probe allegations of fund misuse.

Published: 22nd February 2020 07:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2020 07:54 AM   |  A+A-

File photo of Nagada villagers

File photo of Nagada villagers

By Express News Service

JAJPUR: The Odisha Lokayukta Chairman Justice Ajit Singh will visit Nagada village in Jajpur district next month to inquire into the allegations of misappropriation of funds amounting to around Rs 23 crore that were allocated for development of the village.

Nagada had made headlines for malnutrition deaths three years back.

Justice Singh along with Lokayukta member Dr Rajendra Kumar and other officials of the anti-corruption panel will visit the village, situated atop a hill at Sukinda, on March 21 for physical verification of utilisation of funds.

This will be the first field visit of the panel since its inception.

A five-member team from a Bhubaneswar-based civil society group had visited Nagada in June last year for physical verification of utilisation of funds after an RTI reply revealed that projects worth around Rs 23 crore have been sanctioned for different works in the village.

The team found half hazard and substandard works, low quality of houses constructed under BPGY, electricity connection without supply of power, no supply of drinking water, failure of food security programme and huge misappropriation of funds in construction activities.

It then moved the Lokayukta in August with a comparative chart on utilisation of funds and physical works, seeking an independent investigation into the irregularities and large scale corruption. 

The Odisha Lokayukta has issued notices to Jajpur Collector, Project Director of DRDA, Sukinda BDO, Jajpur town Executive Engineer of Rural Development-1, Executive Engineer (Electrical) of NESCO at Jajpur Road, Executive Engineer (RWSS) and District Social Welfare Officer to be present at the village with all related official documents on March 21.

These officials were summoned by the anti-corruption panel in November last.

Collector in charge Indramani Nayak said he is yet to receive the order of the Lokayukta.
As many as 21 children from Juang tribe had died of malnutrition within a short span of time in 2016 in Nagada. 

Embezzlement gallore 

A civil society group had visited Nagada in June last year for physical verification of utilisation of funds after an RTI reply revealed that projects worth around Rs 23 crore were sanctioned for different works in the village

It found substandard work under BPGY, electricity connection without supply of power, no supply of drinking water, failure of food security programme and misappropriation of funds in construction activities
 

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