Gross Misappropriation of funds surfaces in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in Odisha

Balasore: People of Bardhanpur panchayat in Balasore are having a harrowing time as lakhs of money meant for beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) have been allegedly embezzled by some fraudsters. Though beneficiaries have been identified under the PMAY scheme, many have not received housing units while the money has already been allegedly siphoned off.

A total of 201 people of the panchayat were identified as beneficiaries of PMAY in 2018. However, it has been found that money has been allegedly withdrawn in the name of as many as 38 beneficiaries. It is alleged that some block officials in connivance with politicians have embezzled the money meant for the beneficiaries under the PMAY scheme.

One Gouranga Dalei of the panchayat under Sadar block was named as a beneficiary under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). He wanted to build a pucca house for his family but Rs 1, 20,000 has been allegedly withdrawn in his name.

“I was aware of being a beneficiary of PMAY but no one told me that money has been sanctioned. I have not been given any land patta. I don’t have even a bank account. But money has been withdrawn in my name,” said Dalei.

Similarly, Rs 50,000 has been withdrawn in the name of another PMAY beneficiary Rama Chandra Behera. “We were aware that money had come under PMAY; but Rs 50,000 has been withdrawn in our name. We are still staying in a thatched house,” lamented Behera’s wife Mamuni.

Balasore Vigilance has assured a probe in to the alleged misappropriation of funds under the PMAY scheme. “If we find any irregularities, we will initiate an investigation into the matter,” said Balasore Vigilance SP, Sunil Senapati.

Sarbeswar Singh, assistant project director, Balasore said that a probe will be conducted and stern action will be taken against those found guilty.