MGNREGS scam: Probe to end soon

Nine more officers suspended in Arkalgud taluk; police, ZP conduct inquiry

Close on the heels of 29 grama panchayat officials being suspended in the taluk with regard to irregularities in implementation of MGNREGS, nine more officers have been suspended.

Special auditing was undertaken in 29 grama panchayats pertaining to the scheme recently. Based on the report submitted, nine officers were suspended on charges of dereliction of duty and irregularities following an order from zilla panchayat chief executive officer S T Anjan Kumar.

The officer said apart from the investigation being carried out by police department, a departmental enquiry has also begun. Once the investigations are completed, suitable action would be taken against the guilty.

Anjan Kumar agreed that there has been embezzlement of funds in a few taluks.
A third party appointed by the government is also vetting into the same issue and has asked for recovery of Rs 8.36 crore from various grama panchayats. All the investigations are expected to be completed within two months, he added.

He said that officers from various departments have been chosen for the task. The total number of officials suspended till now has reached 38.

Till now, only employees of various departments falling under the zilla panchayat are suspended. but more suspensions cannot be ruled out.

Officers in dock

The recently suspended officers are Arkalgud panchayat raj engineering division assistant engineer S M Harish, junior engineers M S Eshwar and Eeraiah, watershed development department development officer G K Govindappa, assistant agriculture officer Kapinigowda, agriculture assistant Boregowda, horticulture department assistant H A Doddegowda, social forestry department, region conservator of forests Ramaiah and Chennarayapatna child development programme officer C N Gangappagowda.

The investigations had been demanded by former MLA A T Ramaswamy, who had alleged that several officers in grama panchayats of Arkalgud taluk had siphoned off funds to the tune of crores of rupees, thus defeating the very plan.

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