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Himachal

Posted at: Dec 14, 2017, 12:43 AM; last updated: Dec 14, 2017, 12:43 AM (IST)

No mechanism in place to check fake entry in BPL list

Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 13

Despite the inclusion of a large number of ineligible persons, including sitting and ex-members of the Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) in the list of below poverty line (BPL) beneficiaries in the state, no mechanism has been evolved for the selection of BPL families in a transparent manner.

Despite two orders being issued by then Chief Information Commissioner Bhim Sen in this regard asking the authorities to select BPL families on the basis of “evidence-based parameters” and also passing strictures on the authorities stating that the process of the selection of BPL families was non-transparent and illegal, nothing has been done.

RTI activist Debasheesh Bhattacharya is contemplating to issue legal notice to all officers concerned under Section 166 of the IPC for not implementing the orders of the CEC.

The CIC had passed orders on July 11, 2015, and April 4, 2016, after information sought under the RTI revealed that 10,628 PRI and ex-PRI members were included in the list of BPL families.

After an inquiry, conducted by respective SDMs, pointed out that families of 1,530 PRI and ex-PRI members were found ineligible and their names were removed from the list, then Secretary, Rural Development, Onkar Sharma issued a letter on March 23, 2016, to all deputy commissioners in the state, asking them to initiate action against those who were wrongly included in the list.

“As a follow-up action, then Director, Rural Development, Abhishek Jain asked the Deputy Commissioner, Bilaspur, to initiate action against all those officials who had given false figures to locate the members of PRIs and ex-PRIs in the BPL lists. However, even after the lapse of a year, there is no marked change in the selection process of the BPL families. Complaints are pouring from various parts of the state about the bad selections of BPL families,” Bhattacharya said.

An RTI application was filed after getting the information from all gram panchayats of the Bhoranj block where it was revealed that two pradhans, two up pradhans, four BDC members and 63 ward members were selected in the list of BPL families. The RTI information further revealed that none of the gram panchayats followed the directions given by the state Chief Information Commissioner.

Bhattacharya sent a letter to the Prime Minister, detailing the facts and now the PMO has intervened and asked the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, to look into the issue which in turn directed the state on October 3 to initiate necessary action.

“The Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj on November 3 issued a letter to the Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj of Himachal, to take necessary action on my petition,” he said.

He added that the Principal Secretary, Rural Development of Himachal Pradesh, issued letters to all deputy commissioners on December 2 to provide action-taken report on the orders of the State Information Commission.

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