Odishatv Bureau

Bhadrak: Large scale irregularities in allocation of funds for housing scheme for rural poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) have been reported in Bhadrak district.

It has been alleged that more than Rs 80 lakh have been allocated to as many as 60 deserving persons in 14 panchayats of Chandbali in Bhadrak district under PMAY but the actual beneficiaries been deprived of the housing loans.

Among the defaulters, some have availed Rs 1.2 lakhs in four installments, while others took Rs 90,000 in three installments for construction of houses under PMAY.

The reports in the website of Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, revealed that for construction of houses lakhs of rupees have been allocated to four people identified as Sapana Das of Dosinga, Niranjan Thatoi of Kandagaradi and Rabindra Sethi and Minati Rout of Orasahi of the district.

Surprisingly, the data also shows the pictures of their old thatched house with a new building, but in reality, some live in kutcha houses with a thatched roof, and others reside in pucca houses, which are yet to be constructed completely.

“My brother informed the matter to me. He said that someone else has availed funds under PMAY in my name. When I reached my village, I found those allegations true. I am poor, how will I build my house now,” alleged Sapana Das, a PMAY beneficiary.

It has further been alleged that someone might have submitted fake documents in the name of the beneficiaries to avail the loans.

“The fund allocated in my name has been transferred to someone else’s account. The BDO and the Sarpanch have assured me saying that the problem will be resolved. My house is still incomplete and I am forced to stay under open sky,” said Rabindra Sethi while narrating his plight.

Meanwhile, the panchayat authorities informed that the Gram Rozgar Sevak (GRS) has prepared the bills for allotment of the houses under the central scheme and the Block Development Officer (BDO) would take action into the alleged irregularities.

“I was unaware of the issue. When I asked the GRS, he replied that the lapses were due to some mistakes in the names. I have not prepared the bills there,” said Rajnikant Bal, Executive Officer of Dosinga gram panchayat.

On the other hand, the BDO stated that a couple of allegations of such kind had come to fore in 2016-17 and the matter was resolved then and further said if any such complaints resurface, investigation will be initiated.

“Construction of more than 3,000 houses was targeted in Chandbali. As the documentation work was being done by officers outside the area, there might be some errors in allotment and sanctioning of the funds. So far we have located six errors,” informed Manoj Das, Chandbali BDO.

Gyan Das, Bhadrak District Collector said, “There are a couple of people residing there in the same name and village. While both the persons with same names have been registered under the scheme, money to be received by the actual beneficiary has been transferred to the others’ bank account.”

He added that as the mistakes are due to same names of different individuals, the matter is being investigated and money will be transferred to the original beneficiary at the earliest.