Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Jalandhar, June 3
The embezzlement of panchayat funds to the tune of Rs 28 lakh has been reported from Phillaur village and Jalandhar East block village.
District Development Panchayat Officer Iqbal Singh conducted two different inquiries into these blocks recently and found that funds were misused in villages in both the blocks. A detailed report has been prepared on how the sarpanches misused the funds that were received from the head office for various works.
‘Take action against sarpanches’
- The DDPO has written to higher officials to act against the sarpanches.
- The Chhokra village sarpanch allegedly used the panchayat funds for his personal works and got the amount transferred to his own account
- The Ibrahim Khan sarpanch did not spend the entire money on various development works in the village
While in Chhokra village in Phillaur, a scam amounting to Rs 12,90,000 has come to the fore and in Ibrahim Khan village in Jalandhar East block, a fraud of Rs 15,90,000 has been reported. The frauds were allegedly committed by sarpanches of respective villages.
In both cases, the DDPO has written to higher officials to act against the sarpanches. The Chhokra village sarpanch allegedly used the panchayat funds for his personal works and got the amount transferred to his own account. The matter has been brought to the notice of Director of Rural Development and the Panchayat Department and it has been requested that a case under Section 20 of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, be filed against the accused.
In East block, the sarpanch did not spend the entire money on various development works in the village. Funds granted for buying cement, interlocking tiles, gravel and other construction materials were not utilised in a proper manner. The amount that was received by the panchayat for various works was misused.
The DDPO has written to the Vigilance Bureau in this regard for further investigation.
Notably, fraud and scams in these villages are common. Every year several such scams are unearthed.
Last year, the name of a former sarpanch of a village in Bhogpur block had also appeared in the inquiry report for allegedly misappropriating Rs 16,36,000. The sarpanch, whose tenure was from 2013 to 2018, was accused of misappropriating funds and not spending proper amount on the works of the village.
As per the inquiry report, from 2013 to 2018, a grant of Rs 47,19,937 was received by the panchayat from the department, but the funds were not spent properly on development works. The inquiry reports also mentioned the involvement of a panchayat secretary for not maintaining the record.