MP wakes up to rural job plan corruption
After an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) couple were found to have wealth of over Rs 300 crore, two more IAS officers in Madhya Pradesh are facing the heat for alleged corruption in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The two officers were posted in district Sidhi in north-eastern part of Madhya Pradesh during 2008 when the alleged corruption took place.
The two had allegedly facilitated disbursement of money to non-existent Self Help Groups and payment for work on days, which did not exist such as June 31. There were also allegations of fabrication of muster rolls and paying less than mandated under the MGNREGA law to those enrolled in the scheme.
In addition, huge amount was spent on planting Jatrofa without taking approval of the competent authority, which was declared as failure.
"These are some of the findings of an inquiry done by district prosecution officer in 2008," said Ajay Dubey, RTI national award winner for 2009, and general secretary of NGO Prayatna, which exposed the corruption using the Right To Information (RTI) law.
Finally, the state government has woken up to the corruption in the world's biggest job guarantee scheme in January 2011. The state's Rural Development department has issued a chargesheet against the two officials, in-charge of the scheme in the district in 2008, two years after the state General Administration Department (GAD) asked it to initiate action.
The chargesheet has been sent to the GAD department for serving the officials, who are now serving as district collectors. As per the RTI information, the department has also asked recovery of about Rs 8 crore, which was allegedly siphoned off during the period.
Corruption in MGNREGA is not new. But for the first time explanation is being sought from IAS officers for facilitating the corruption. Dubey said corruption in the scheme has been exposed through RTI in as many as seven districts. "The corruption is over Rs 100 crore," he said. BK Sinha, secretary Rural Development Ministry has also asked officials of the ministry to conduct an inquiry into the allegations and submit a report.
Four people were killed in two accidents in Mandi and Shimla districts on Tuesday. Three workers were killed and one was seriously hurt after the pillar of a gate fell on a tipper truck in the Khaliyar locality of Mandi town. The dead were identified as Rishav Kaushik of Mandi, Gurchain Singh of Rupnagar district and Vinod Kumar of Purnea district in Bihar. Locals informed the police after which a rescue operation was launched.
A Mansa court sent four accused, including two shooters, in the Sidhu Moose Wala murder case to eight-day remand of the Punjab Police's special investigation team hours after they were brought from Delhi on transit remand on Tuesday. The court sent them into police custody till July 13. Punjab Police arrested them in the Moose Wala murder case after taking permission from the Delhi court, which also granted the transit remand.
The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday predicted 'heavy to very heavy rainfall' in several areas of Karnataka over the next five days. The weather department said the coastal best of the southern state is likely to receive isolated very heavy rainfall from July 7. “Isolated heavy rainfall very likely over Marathwada from 5-8 July; Coastal Karnataka during 7-9 July; South Interior Karnataka during 06 -09 July,” read the IMD bulletin.
A heavy traffic bottleneck was reported at the Mankoli naka in Bhiwandi, one of the vital links that connects Thane, Bhiwnadi, Kalyan – Nashik highway, due to heavy downpour on Tuesday afternoon. In the last 24 hours, the Kalyan Dombivli cities received 114 mm of rainfall leading to waterlogging in several parts and traffic congestion. Heavy waterlogging was reported on the Kalyan- Ambernarth- Badlapur highway road leading to disruption in traffic flow.
Justice HP Sandesh of the High Court of Karnataka on Monday said Justice Sandesh was threatened with transfer after his remark against the Anti-Corruption Bureau that it had become a "collection centre". He said he was unfazed by such threats. Justice Sandesh had made observations against the ACB last week and its functioning while hearing a bail plea of P S Mahesh, a deputy Tahsildar in the office of the Bengaluru City Deputy Commissioner.