Nodal officers to assist CBI in alleged MGNREGS scam

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Monday appointed Sushil Kumar Lohani as its Nodal Officer who would assist Central Investigation Bureau (CBI) in its probe in the alleged irregularities in the rural job scam under MGNREGS, Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik informed.

Lohani, Director of Panchayati Raj Department was picked up by the state government after CBI in its letter had requested for the state’s assistance for calling in a transparent investigation.

The Rural Development Department Commissioner would assist the CBI in investigating the alleged irregularities—whether the beneficiaries are being paid as per the actual wage hours, timely payment of wage and utilization of funds under various programmes, especially poverty alleviation programmes—in as many as 100 villages across six districts—Boalngir, Nabrangpur, Nuapara, Koraput, Rayagada and Kalahandi—of the state.   

This apart, the government has also chosen six Additional District Magistrates (ADMs) of the six concerned districts who would act as District Nodal Officers.

The nodal officers would provide information to the CBI regarding the utilization of funds received from the Centre for financial year 2006-07, the reports submitted by the District Collectors over the utilization of the received funds and progress and status of the projects.

The District Nodal Officers would render their information on the basis of complaints received from the concerned villages of the six districts.

In addition to it, CBI has also requested the state government to set up camp offices in all the 30 districts of the state and provide as many as 12 inspectors either from anti-corruption or from the crime branch department of the state.