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Odishatv Bureau

Bolangir/Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government, on November 9, fixed modalities for distribution of agriculture input subsidy to 'actual' cultivators, including sharecroppers, who suffered crop loss due to pest attack. However, it seems that the farmers have been deprived of the benefits and become victim of a massive corruption which involves some government officials.

According to sources, the government officials, who were entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the list of the farmers whose crop were affected due to drought or were damaged after pest infestation (by 'chakada' or brown plant hopper), have allegedly diverted the subsidy amount to the account of their own family members and relatives.

In one such instance, OTV found that the subsidy amount, which was meant for the owner of the agricultural plot bearing number 247 under Agalpur Tehsil, has been withdrawn by two fake farmers Meena Dalpati and Susant Dharua, both of whom are a couple and relative of the local village-level worker (VLW) Sushant Dharua. Sushant was in-charge of preparing the beneficiary list.

The plot belongs to Selu and Jugeswar, sons of deceased farmer Sudam Bhoi. The duo’s name is in the list - at serial no -305 and 347. However, the money has been illegally withdrawn by the above couple.

"The concerned officer took all the necessary documents from me but I didn't get the money even though I am a beneficiary," said Selu.

Similarly, one Birendra Dalpati has withdrawn the subsidy amount meant for the owner agricultural plot bearing number 85. While the heir of the land is Saran Sahu, Birendra is the brother-in-law of the VLW.

Another fake farmer, Kanak Sahu has withdrawn the subsidy amount for agricultural plot bearing number 193, owned by Bhursuba Biswal, whose name appears at serial no. 350.

While OTV tried to contact the VLW, he was unavailable for comments.

Surprisingly, the district collector in-charge Laxmikant Pyarelal Pradhan who is reportedly aware of the corruption said, "Action will be taken if any one files complaint; the corrupt officials will not be spared."

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