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GSU alleges misappropriation of MLA funds
Biplab Kr Dey
 TURA, Feb 1 – The Garo Students’ Union (GSU) Rongmil unit has alleged misappropriation to the tune of Rs 1 crore in the distribution of schemes by the local MLA and his workers. The allegation comes after an RTI filed by the GSU unit found distribution being channelled through a few contractors loyal to the MLA resulting in the benefits not reaching the intended beneficiaries.

 The GSU unit in a press release has brought out allegations of misappropriation against local MLA Sengnam Marak, a first time MLA elected in 2013, and his favoured workers. The scheme under question is the State Rural Works Programme (SRWP) under the Dambo Rongjeng Block in East Garo Hills district, for the year 2013-2014.

The alleged misappropriation is under nine different heads, ranging from CGI sheet distribution, RCC culverts, spring chambers, etc., the release said.

According to the GSU unit, the findings came after a visit to various villages said to be the beneficiaries of the scheme. The NGO visited the villages of Darugre Songma, Darugre Kakdap, Darugre Milsang Silchang, Gabil Boldil, Gabil Koksi, Gabil Rangberam, Miktongjeng Rongmil, Nengbrok, Milawe, amongst others, after receiving the details in the RTI, and were shocked to find that the distribution had not taken place at all.

“We paid a visit to quite a few villages which were under the scheme and to our shock we found that these benefits did not reach them even though on paper they have been given. We even found fake names, indicating that the schemes were a hogwash”, said the general secretary of the GSU Rongmil unit, Tuesbrail Marak.

“Our enquiry included the villagers, village secretaries and beneficiaries. We questioned them in relation to the RTI findings. When we tallied the RTI findings, the misappropriation came to light”, said Marak.

“Incredibly, even people in the list mentioned as beneficiaries have stated that they received nothing, even though their name figures in the list”, claimed Marak.

“A huge amount of money has apparently gone to the party workers and friends of the local MLA, added Marak.

“Further, it was learnt that none of the projects under SRWP scheme for the year 2013-14 were implemented”, stated Marak in the release.

Later, the GSU unit held a meeting where they decided to hold a public meeting to decide on the future course of action to bring the guilty to book. Attempts to contact the MLA, Sengnam Marak for his views on the allegations remained futile.

Some of the projects allegedly under the scanner are listed below:

1. Purchase and distribution of 1,254 bundles of CGI sheets to 418 BPL families. Total amount Rs 59. 92 lakh. Beneficiary: Anjush Marak.

2. Purchase and distribution of plastic chairs to 100 villages. Total amount Rs 5 lakh. Beneficiary: Anjush Marak.

3. Land development project. Total amount Rs 20 lakh. Beneficiary: Anjush Marak.

4. Construction of 50 Spring Chambers. Total amount Rs 5 lakh. Beneficiary: Anjush Marak.

5. Renovation of community hall at Nagimaram. Total amount Rs 2 lakh. Beneficiary: Anjush Marak.

6. Purchase and distribution of 14,000 areca nut sapling for 140 farmers. Total amount Rs 2.80 lakh. Beneficiary Anjush Marak.

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