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Devbrat Patnaik

Kendrapara: The Kendrapara district administration has initiated a serious investigation into allegations of corruption relating to construction of Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra in Padanapali village under Aul block.

As per reports, the government had sanctioned Rs 16 lakh for construction of Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra at Padanipala panchayat but the funds were allegedly siphoned off by Sarpanch Rakesh Roshan Rout, JE Manoj Behuria and Assistant Engineer Deepak Kumar Behera, and reportedly used for constructing another house. After the locals reported the matter to the district collector Samarth Verma, he directed DRDA project director to conduct a probe into the allegations and take necessary action.

Subsequently, the project director lodged a complaint at Aul police station alleging that government funds amounting to Rs 16 lakh have been embezzled. Police sources said a case was registered and inquiry has already been initiated.

Based on reports as per preliminary investigation, the district Collector has acknowledged that there are evidences of corruption. He also assured that a criminal case would be registered and departmental action will be taken after a detailed probe.

“Yes, the allegations are true. There is a scam in Seva Kendra construction. Following an investigation, PD DRDA has lodged an FIR. Police inquiry is underway. Criminal or disciplinary action would be taken against whosoever is found responsible,” said Verma.

While the accused are reportedly absconding, the Odisha government has suspended Aul block JE Behura based on the allegations.

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