Behind breeding scams in Terai: fund flow, realty boom
Flow of development funds and real estate boom spawned scams in the Terai region, comprising mostly the agriculturally rich Udham Singh Nagar, social activists saiddehradun Updated: Oct 09, 2017 19:43 IST
Flow of development funds and real estate boom spawned scams in the Terai region, comprising mostly the agriculturally rich Udham Singh Nagar, social activists said.
The Rs 600-crore NH 74 scam, Rs 600-crore rice scam, irregularities in the Terai Seeds and Development Corporation, and a scholarship scam, running into hundreds of crores, surfaced in the Terai region.
The NH 74 scam came to light in 2016 after the then Kumon commissioner, D Senthil Pandiyan, ordered an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the compensation given to farmers. The probe revealed that farmers showed their agricultural land as commercial property and got huge compensations. Rudrapur special land ceiling officer was suspended.
The social welfare department released scholarships in the name of fake students in the Terai region and Haridwar.
Investigations are on into the multilayered rice scam. Investigators found government officials in collusion with rice mill owners allegedly did not follow the rules set for paddy purchase, forcing farmers to sell their produce at rates lower than the minimum support price.
The millers then sold the rice to the government at minimum support price, making a profit of Rs 400 per quintal. The vehicles used for transporting the rice from mills to Food Corporation of India godowns did not carry the registration number in challans.
Linking the scams to regional imbalance, social activist Chandrahsekhar Kargeti said, “Plain areas have been the focus of development; hill regions have been neglected, but Terai has witnessed development and concentration of funds. Real estate boom has also led to corruption.”
Kargeti, a lawyer at the Uttarakhand high court, said a system of checks and balances did not exist in the functioning of officials in the region. “There is a nexus among officials here and there is a mindset against transparency, which has spawned the scams.”
Postings in the Terai area have been lucrative for officials because of the funds available, social activist Beena Joshi said. “The government must focus on all areas for development so that such scams do not occur in future,” she said.