Villagers allege misappropriation of DoTCL fund

ITANAGAR, Aug 30: Villagers of Longphong Village in Longding district in a memorandum to Governor Brig (Retd) Dr B D Mishra, has alleged misappropriation of fund of over 39 lakh by the state PWD Longding Division against construction of a general ground and an approach road in the village.

The memorandum alleged that the Longding PWD Division engaged in corrupt practice by misappropriating an amount of Rs. 39,43,000 allocated by the DoTCL, and sought his intervention.

The memo pointed out that the work was awarded in a blatant disregard to established norms and regulations and to date, no work has been executed in reality but it is reflected as completed in the departmental records.

“To elucidate, no developmental or maintenance activities have been undertaken in our village in the past two years and resultantly, even basic infrastructures like roads are in a dilapidated state. Here, it would be apt to mention the valiant attempt of our villagers, wherein, through crowd funding, about 200-300 meters of the road leading to the Church of the Village was constructed by ourselves,” the villagers said.

They added that the small exercise made it clear that involvement of the department is required to remedy the substantial issues plaguing the village and accordingly, the villagers approached the PWD Division, Longding and highlighted their grievances and requested for an expedited resolution from their end; but their endeavor did not solicit a positive response from the department.

After the villagers visited the division office, information surfaced that a work for the construction of a General Ground along with an approach road at Longphong village has been sanctioned.

“Elated at this, we inquired about the work, but we were provided elusive explanations by the department. In face of the resistance by the department, we filed an RTI application seeking information about any work sanctioned for Longphong village vis-à-vis construction of general ground and approach road,” the memorandum said.

“Shockingly, the RTI reply divulged that work for “construction of general ground and approach road at Longphong Village” having a work cost of Rs. 39,43,000 was sanctioned in January 2020. However, no NIT was published by the department and tendering process was not adopted for awarding the work to the firms M/s Nek Enterprise & M/s Niwang Enterprise,” they alleged.

“The work was awarded to the firms by taking aid of the work order system despite the work amount being well above the permissible ceiling limit prescribed on work order by the state government and the requirement of a tendering process to award a work of this amount. Thus, awarding this work without informing and allowing the eligible individuals to participate in the tender for the work is illegal, impermissible and is an indication of the prevailing corrupt practices in the department,” the memorandum added.

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