However, the action is being seen as knee-jerk reaction to save the skin of mastermind of the multi-crore scam – Saoner Block Development Officer Manik Himane.
Nagpur: With the expose of a flourishing scam in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNERGA) in the garb of plantation of trees in Dahegaon (Rangari) village of Saoner, heads have started to roll. The Village Development Officer of Dahegaon (Rangari) Ravindra Autkar has been suspended pending enquiry. However, the action is being seen as knee-jerk reaction to save the skin of mastermind of the multi-crore scam – Saoner Block Development Officer Manik Himane. Autkar is made a scapegoat, it is being said.
It is pertinent to recall that Nagpur Today had published a report titled “NCP leader Chaudhary alleges MGNERGA scam by Saoner BDO” wherein it was reported: NCP leader Kishore Chaudhary, in another damning revelation, has alleged a scam in the ambitious Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNERGA) in the garb of plantation of trees.
According to Chaudhary, the Block Development Officer (BDO), Saoner, in the name of Dahegaon Rangari Gram Panchyat undertook a “bogus” tree plantation drive and also prepared a “bogus” muster roll of workers. With the help these “bogus” acts, the BDO and other employees pocketed over Rs 1.52 lakh of the employment scheme in Dahegaon Rangari Gram Panchayat alone. The BDO Manik Himane, in the year 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years, showed undertaking of over 600 tree plantations under the MGNERGA and also allegedly prepared “bogus” muster roll of workers deployed for the tree plantation. Moreover, with the help of forged seals and signatures of Village Development Officer of Dahegaon Rangari Gram Panchayat and Sarpanch, the muster roll was certified as “genuine.” Later, an amount of Rs 1,52,486 was pocketed by showing wages of the workers from Dahegaon Rangari Gram Panchayat alone. The amount was shared by the BDO with other employees as “commission” with major share grabbed by he himself. This act on the part of the BDO amounted to forgery and cheating of Government. The figure of amount pocketed could be in manifold proportions if such corrupt act was also committed in other Gram Panchayats also. If a high level probe is undertaken, the amount could be in crores, Chaudhary alleged.’
Acting the expose, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer A S Nimbalkar, as per the directives of Chief Executive Officer Kadambari Balkavade, has constituted a 2-member committee, comprising two officials, to investigate the matter. A communication received by Kishore Chaudhary and Gram Panchayat Dahegaon (Rangari) has said that the two officials K G Jadhav, Group Development Officer (EGS) and A Y Naranje, Assistant Accounts Officer would conduct the probe on August 22, 2016.
The NCP leader Kishore Chaudhary has demanded suspension of BDO Manik Himane, too, pending enquiry as the suspension of Autkar is being widely seen as an attempt to spare the BDO of a punitive action.
– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (firstname.lastname@example.org)