Even the dead gets houses in Bihar

Even the dead gets houses in Bihar

The story of Tetri Devi and Puniya Devi of Bakhtiyarpur, some 60 km from Patna, is a case in point. The two were allotted dwelling units in 2008, years after they died.

This revelation was made by the Rural Development Department, the nodal agency for implementing IAY, which facilitates houses for the poorest among the poor.

The agency said a fraud was committed with the connivance of the panchayat sevak, mukhiya and block-level administrative officials, and funds worth lakhs were siphoned off.     
The exposure comes close on the heels of tall claims made by the Nitish Kumar government to have distributed eight lakh IAY units against a target of 13 lakh units in the last financial year. “The panchayat sevak and the mukhiya were hand in glove while committing this fraud. They approved the photographs of the dead individuals as genuine beneficiaries and doctored the papers to pocket the monetary assistance of Rs 35,000 each given to the dead beneficiaries,” a senior government source said.

The involvement of block-level officers in the embezzlement of fund could not be ruled out.
In yet another instance of forgery, the agency stumbled upon the fact that seven individuals, who were not on the below poverty line list of the panchayat, were given financial assistance for IAY units through forged signatures. The officials thus managed to gobble up Rs 2.5 lakh, which was actually meant for the homeless people.

Incidentally, no first information report has been lodged in the embezzlement case. Rural Development Minister Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha, however, said a case will be lodged in this connection.