AI RTI exposes misappropriation of funds in MC Poonch

KT NEWS SERVICE . Dated: 9/18/2012 12:25:35 AM

POONCH, Sep 17: Awake India, an NGO through an RTI has unearthed a funds scam in Municipal Council Poonch. A new instance of funds embezzlement by Municipality has come to surface in Poonch. A Construction work of a link road from Allapir to the House of late Kastori Lal to chowk Galfhat Poonch was undertaken by municipality in 2010, but on ground the dilapidated condition of the road narrates a different story of huge misappropriation of funds.
Sensing foul, Awake India, NGO decided to file an RTI application seeking the information about the amount released and status of work. Awake India through its volunteer Pervez Iqbal, filed an RTI application with MC Poonch seeking details of fund utilization and others .
The Executive Engineer, MC Poonch vide letter no. 803/PMC dated 17-7-2012, furnished a reply along with the copy of the sanction order, measurement book on the execution of work.
His reply stated that Rupees Ten lacs have been withdrawn and the work stands complete in papers but picture on the ground is self explanatory.
There were number of discrepancies and the projected was started and completed without following set norms and rules. Even the guidelines issued by the District Development Commission Poonch vide order no. DDCP/516-A of 2010 dated 20-03-2010 were ignored where the DDC had directed to utilize the funds for the purpose these are released. Contrary to the guidelines and rules, municipality Poonch didn’t invite the tenders and executed the work illegally.
Copy of Measurement Book (MB) provided to the RTI applicant reveals that the department has illegally diverted the funds for some other unapproved jobs without any sanction.
In a correspondence letter, Junior Engineer MC Poonch has asked for the release of Rupees ten lacs for the completion of work and didn’t mention about the diversion of funds.
The Executive Engineer, Local Bodies Div-I Jammu accorded a sanction of Rupees Ten lacs vide his letter no. Tech/J-I/2010/9213-15 Dated 29-03-2010. The then Executive Engineer did not bother to ask the purpose of such huge amount of money as the approved project was of much lower cost. The then Executive Officer, MC Poonch passed the bill after the certification of works done with the connivance of the concerned JE and released an amount Rs. Ten lacs. However as per the guidelines to ensure the transparency, the people of the area should be apprised about the scheme and a sign board should be installed at the site of the work in which estimate cost, name of scheme, date of start, date of completion and name of the executing agency should be incorporated on the board. But no such board is installed in order to keep the public in dark about the misappropriation of the fund.
Ayaz Mughal, Chairman Awake India has demanded a detailed enquiry into the matter and said, “It is just a sample and we expect the embezzlement in crores in developmental works and we are trying to dig out similar cases.”



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