MGNREGS scam: GP chief among nine in soup

Criminal cases to be filed against more than 35 officials

Already a case has been filed with Ramanathapura police station against nine persons on charges of embezzlement of funds amounting to ` 21 lakh, which was earmarked for the development of ‘Santhe maidan’ in Basavapattana town. Gram Panchayat president Ningamma is also one among the accused.

It may be recalled that former MLA A T Ramaswamy has been raising hue and cry about irregularities in MGNREGS. When his pleas fell on deaf ears, he resorted to a lone protest in front of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar’s office in Vidhana Soudha.

 Responding to this, the Minister had ordered an inquiry and ZP CEO Anjan Kumar had submitted an interim report. Later, criminal cases were filed against three officials. But all the accused officials are said to be absconding since then.

Ramaswamy continued his tirade against irregularities in the gram panchayats across the taluk. In response to it, even officials had also a protest once and the issue became a bone of contention between the elected representatives and the officials.

Checking of documents at all the gram panchayats in Arakalgud taluk has started. Examination of documents of 12 TPs is complete and it was found that more than 35 officials are said to be involved in the misappropriation of funds. Secretary Lakshmi Narasaiah said that the process will be completed in a couple of days.

Funds

The development of ‘Santhe maidan’ at Basavapattana, has been taken up at a cost of ` 21 lakh during 2005-06 to 2009-10. Irregualarities have been confirmed during the verification of documents.

 It is said that the land developed in fact belonged to a private party. Despite the court clarifiying this, funds had been allotted for the same work several times. Records are said to be tampered and Rs nine lakh had been proposed for levelling the groud in 2009-10 and got sanctioned Rs 8.30 lakh. Gram Panchayat President Ningamma is the prime accused in this scam.

Criminal cases have been filed against senior engineers Suresh, Ningegowda, Harish, EOs K B Krishnegowda, H S Phanish, Dr K V Nagaraj, Gram Panchayat Secretaries Javaregowda and Shivananjappa, according to sources.

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