Odisha MP rues roadblocks in MPLAD fund utilisation

Sambalpur/Bhubaneswar: Sambalpur Lok Sabha member Nagendra Pradhan on Wednesday wrote to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik citing callousness on the part of Sambalpur, Angul and Deogarh Collectors in submission of Utilisation Certificates (UC) and work allotment for MPLAD fund projects.

In the letter, Pradhan said under the MPLAD (Local Area Development) scheme he had received Rs 15 crore for the years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. However, due to lack of administrative supervision the funds were not fully utilised. Besides, the UCs for the works done under the MPLAD fund were not submitted to the central government.

“It’s the responsibility of the respective collectors to supervise the works under the scheme and submit the UC to the central government, but due to the lack of administrative supervision, the funds were not fully utilised as a result of which further release of funds for the years 2017-18 and 2018-19 is held up,” the letter read.

“When we are giving money, why is it not being utilised properly. I am repeatedly calling the collectors,” said Pradhan, adding that he approached the CM as the works are still pending.

Responding to the allegations brought by the MP, Deogarh Collector (In-Charge) Dharam Hansda said, “We had received Rs 1.35 crore (approx) out of which UC for Rs 1.88 crore expenditures has already been submitted. We need to give UC for only Rs 34 lakh which will be submitted soon.”

Looking at the figure, it can be said that the execution of MPLAD projects has been effectively done in Deogarh, said Hansda.

After speaking to other MPs of the State, OTV found similar situation prevailing in other LS constituencies too.

“There are many problems in utilisation of MPLAD funds. Getting a clear sketch from Tehsilars for the same is also delaying implementation of projects,” said BJD’s Dhenkanal MP, Tathagata Satpathy.

Similarly, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patasani said the delay in UC submission and non-utilisation of funds are major problems due to which the funds often get lapsed.

Taking a dig at the Odisha government, Odisha BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty said, “An MP of the ruling party writing such a letter to the Chief Minister is unfortunate. The government should now clarify whether it’s its own callousness or the Centre’s failure or false propaganda.”

Raising serious concerns over the matter working president of Odisha Congress Pradeep Majhi said that Babus are now running the State and peoples’ representatives have lost their existence.