Ganga Kalyana: 8 officials suspended, says govt

Ganga Kalyana: 8 officials suspended, says govt

BJP members, led by their leader Kota Srinivas Poojary, stage a dharna in front of the chairman over alleged irregularities in Ganga Kalyana Scheme in the Legislative Council. DH photo / M S Manjunath

The government on Monday said that it had suspended eight officials who were found to have indulged in irregularities in the implementation of the Ganga Kalyana scheme.

Replying to BJP member M K Pranesh in the Council, Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge admitted that the department had received several complaints about corruption and impropriety under the scheme, especially from districts like Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Mysuru.

Earlier, the Opposition BJP, alleging gross irregularities under the scheme, staged a protest demanding the constitution of a joint House committee to probe the matter.

The Ganga Kalyana scheme has been formulated to provide irrigation facilities to farmers, especially SC/STs.

Pranesh said officials had to visit three to four water points in a day. However, they were found to be identifying more than the stipulated number of water points. He said there were several instances where money had been collected by officials by submitting fake bills.

Leader of the Opposition, Kota Srinivas Poojary said that more than 1,800 borewells had been dug in one taluk alone, resulting in a scam worth more than Rs 1.8 crore. 

Poojary said the managing director and the secretary of the Ambedkar Development Board were themselves directly involved in the scam.

“Given the involvement of senior officials, one can imagine the extent of illegalities under the scheme. The government should constitute a joint House committee to probe the irregularities,” he demanded.

When Kharge said he would order a departmental enquiry, the Opposition members objected to it outright. They demanded that the government either set up the committee or allow for a detailed deliberation on the topic.  

When the government didn’t yield to their demand, the BJP members trooped into the well of the House. Council chairman Prathap Chandra Shetty adjourned the proceedings for half an hour.

The Opposition members didn’t give up their protest even after the House resumed. They withdrew their protest only after floor leader Jayamala promised that the matter would be taken up for discussion before the end of the session.