Patiala: The district administration will do a survey of every village in Samana and Patran blocks of this district to know the extent of embezzlement in the MNGREA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scam.
In a damange-control exercise, the administration has asked the rural development department and MNREGA officials to state how the material was purchased and how much reached the villages actually. The officials will then visit every village for stocktaking.
Malwinder Singh, one of the two accused block development and panchayat of ficers ( BDPOs), had reported “all material received” but half of it is undelivered.
Finding the certificate fake, the additional deputy commissioner (development), who monitors the job-guarantee scheme, has ordered cross-checking.
“We will ensure that the villages get their material and the scam does not hit development work,” said ADC (D) Rajesh Tripathi.
The police also have begun investigation against suspended BDPOs Malwinder Singh and Dinesh Vashisht, who have gone into hiding.
They have sought the mobilephone call record of the officers and the rural development department data related to every purchase, payment and development work carried out under MNREGA. “We want to make a watertight case against the officials who embezzled public money,” said superintendent of police (special cell) GS Bedi.
RAKHRA ASKED TO COME CLEAN
The Congress has asked Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Surjit Singh Rakhra, who was rural development minister during the scam, to come clean on the issue.
Congress legislator Brahm Mohindra (Patiala rural) said the inaction of the administration for more than a month and of the police for a fortnight suggested that some ruling politicians of the state were involved. “Police let off an accused block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) even after he had accepted his role in the crime, while Rakhra, as minister did not even suspend the BDPOs for a scam in own constituency,” he added.
The officials were indicted in two inquiries, yet they roamed free for more than a month, the legislator has pointed out.
“The government should submit the investigation report in the coming assembly session. The Congress will demand a debate on the role of the minister, administration, and police in the swindle,” he further stated.