TODAY -

Fund withdrawn for road projects on Phumdis: Cong MLA
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, August 05 2022: Congress MLA K Meghachandra urged the state government to take strict action against the officers involved in misappropriating funds sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) for blacktopping works and setting up street lamps in Champu Khangpok village, which lies atop the phumdis (floating biomass) of Loktak Lake.

Raising a calling attention motion on the last day of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Friday, MLA Meghachan dra remarked that the PMAGY scheme, which is meant for setting up model villages and welfare of ST/SC and backward class villages, has failed terribly in the state.

In 2019 20, the government took up a convergent programme under the scheme.

Different departments were roped in as part of the programme and funds were allocated to officers of department's district units under the directive of the central government.

The Convergent Committee chairman, who also happened to be a DC, submitted a report stating that around 50 percent of the total programme fund (amounting to Rs 60 lakh) had been sanctioned for implementation of the convergent programme in census village Champu Khangpok lying atop the phumdis of Loktak Lake on April 12, 2021.The sanctioned funds include funds for RCC community toilet, ambulance, blacktopping of IVR road, installation of street lamps and establishing internet connectivity.

Meghachandra continued that the villagers, who commute by boats, were surprised that the village will have blacktopped roads, adding that the matter came to light after an RTI application was filed.

The implementation of the programme concerns the DC and top district officials of various departments.

However, the 100/200 residents of the village were not mentioned in the beneficiary list.

The photographs submitted to the centre to claim completion of the work did not contain any of the village residents.

As the DPR of this central project cannot be changed, it is important to ascertain whether the work site was changed with the approval of the ministry concerned and how the officials carried out the blacktopping works on the Lake Project.

Stating that the issue is not about the money but the way it has been done, the MLA questioned whether action should not be taken up against the DC and officials who do not know how to study the submitted DPR.

If such a small project has so many flaws, one can only wonder the situation of the various huge projects being taken up in the state, he remarked.

Meghachandra further commented on the erroneous reports Submitted by the officers to the Minister concerned, while misusing their power and the funds.

The Village Committee has already submitted a written complaint on the matter, he said, while urging the CM to take action on the matter and give meaning to the government's Anti-Corruption Cell.

Responding to the motion, CM N Biren informed the House that after receiving reports on the matter, an enquiry was conducted, which stated that the funds sanctioned for Champu Khangpok village is only Rs 10 lakh, while the said Rs 60 lakh is for 6 villages.

The funds allocated for each village is Rs 20 lakh, with 50 percent of the fund i.e., Rs 10 lakh being the allocation for the first phase.

Affirming that Champu Khangpok village is set up atop the phumdis, Biren said that the pradhan has submitted a proposal for a community toilet (Rs 3 lakh), ambulance Service (Rs 3.6 lakh), pucca black topping (Rs 2.81 lakh), installation of street lamp (Rs 4.61 lakh) and establishing internet connectivity (Rs 5.96 lakh).

The proposal was included in the work programme but an on-spot inspection found that the works could not be taken up in the village.

As such, after discussing with Village PMAGY Convergence Committee Champu Khangpok Khul chairperson Oinam Romen, who also happens to be the pradhan of Thanga Part-I GP pradhan Oinam Romen, the works were taken up at Karang Ward No 3.While admitting that it was wrong to take up the works meant for the village to another location, the CM stated that the replacement was done after discussing with Karang pradhan and the committees concerned.

As the funds were not misused, it has been discussed to submit another proposal to the Centre, with works suitable for Champu village.

He then assured of looking into what could be done with regard to the reallocation of the works which were done without prior intimation as per the Manipur Panchayati Raj Act, especially considering the relocation was done in collaboration with the Panchayat members.


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