VELLORE: The Nagal panchayat president and the officials have reportedly siphoned off several lakh of rupees by falsely adding the names of those dead, government employees, college students and non-existing people in the master roll of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the last two years.
Exposing the irregularities in implementing the MGNREGS by obtaining information under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, the functionaries of AAP demanded stern action against panchayat president Jayanthi, her husband Balasettu and officials aiding them in swindling the funds of the Central and State government schemes.
The panchayat president and corrupt officials roped in the names of the dead people for works taken up under the MGNREGS in the panchayat.
“We found the names of around 50 people, including those dead, government employees, non-resident of the villages in the master roll. Fake job cards have been created to misappropriate the fund,” said member of the State Campaign Committee of AAP, Jayaram Venkatesan.
Citing the information availed under the RTI Act from the Block Development Office of K V Kuppam, Tamilarasan of Nagal panchayat said, A Gajendran (died on April 7, 2010), V Ashok Kumar (died on January 2012), Lokammal and Madhuria (noon meal workers) names were prominently found in the master roll.
“The reports shows that Gajendran had been paid Rs 6,438 for working under the MGNREGA scheme in the year 2012. That is two years after he died,” said Tamilarasan, showing the death certificate of Gajendran, who died on April 7, 2010.
Similarly, a Rs 7,000 had been paid in the name of Ashok Kumar after his death in January 2012.
“The officials and panchayat presidents have also taken money in the name of government staff. There are more than 40 names, who are not residents of the village. On each name, payments ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 10,000 have been made in the last two years. We have submitted a petition along with evidences (photocopies of fake job cards and payment details) to the district administration,” said Tamilarasan.
Corruption is prevalent to the core in the panchayat and officials were hand-in-glove with the panchayat president, claimed K Chandra Sekar of the panchayat. “The panchayat president demanded Rs 20,000 as bribe to release the funds under the IAY scheme. Since, I was not able to pay the amount, the president is holding back the fund,” he said.
The Project Officer of Directorate of Rural Development Agency N Srinivasan has been conducting an inquiry into the irregularities. “The inquiry will be soon completed and suitable action will be taken regarding the complaints,” said the Project Officer.