TIRUVANNAMALAI: A special audit conducted in Vettavalam Town Panchayat in Tiruvannamalai district has exposed embezzlement to the tune of over Rs 2.25 crore in the last three years by a former executive officer. The audit, which was ordered by Director of Town Panchayat, Rajendra Ratnoo, revealed that the fund was swindled by producing fake bills and violating rules.
A three-member team conducted the special audit for the fiscal years 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, revealing the scale of corruption by former Executive Officer S Ganeshan. A group of nine councillors, out of 15, raised the issue of financial misappropriation by Ganeshan.
“The EO looted lakhs of rupees and was misusing his power. In 2012-2013, he swindled Rs 14,56,285 for repair works of 70 mini power pumps,” charged councillor G Thirumoorthy, citing the special audit report under the RTI Act. The EO violated the government order (GO 229/1997), wherein a sum of Rs 7,500 was fixed for annual expenditure for repair and maintenance of each power pump. Inquiries revealed that the officer used to swindle money by producing bogus bills.
The official also swindled Rs 55,225 on the pretext of purchasing insecticide, which the Health Department provided free-of-cost for fogging operartions.
The special audit team, which submitted its report two months ago, raised objections with regard to 66 works. These were carried out by the EO and resulted in the loss of Rs 2,25,40,242 to the government. The report recommended that the department take action against him. The council allegedly refused to pass resolutions on the works undertaken by the EO to curb his irregularities between September 2013 and February 2014 and he continued to indulge in corruption, claimed councillor Gandhi Ramesh. The Chairperson of town panchayat echoed his view.