Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Chandigarh, April 5
Close on the heels of a probe into alleged misuse of rural development funds during the previous Congress government’s tenure last week, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal has now sought a report on the flaws in the technical outlay of projects in villages, mainly on poor standards of material used and faulty construction of department works.
To unmask those behind fund misuse
- The minister said leaders, including ministers, were involved in wrong allocation of funds to 300 villages, whose grants were stopped by the Centre
- “We will soon release details of money misused and names involved,” he said, adding MLAs had a big role in illegal occupation of village land, which would be freed
Will visit Moga illegal mining site
I have taken note of a news report on illegal mining at panchayat land in a Moga village. I will visit the site and question officers. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, Minister
Talking to The Tribune, Dhaliwal said: “We are aware of poorly designed projects, bad quality of material used and shoddy construction in a large number of villages. The streets, sewers, ponds, water taps and panchayat buildings lay in a shambles across the state. The XENs and JEs concerned will have to answer. While most of the projects currently require repairs within less than a year, our priority will be to ensure these last at least 20 years.”
“Technical faults have led to street levels being higher than houses at certain places and lower than the surrounding structures at other places. Besides causing wasteful expenditure, these projects are a major reason for public inconvenience, particularly during monsoon,” he said.
At least 50,000 acres of panchayat land was under illegal occupation of politicians at different places across the state. “MLAs have a big role in this illegal occupation. We will get it free,” said the minister.
“Following up on a news report of panchayat land being used for illegal mining in Moga, I will visit the site and question the officers on how they allowed it to happen,” he said.
Last week, after the Centre stopped grants to more than 300 villages due to faulty allocations by the Congress government during its fag end, Dhaliwal had constituted a committee to study wrong allocation of funds to these villages.
The minister said: “Senior leaders, including ministers, were involved. We will very soon release details of the money misused and names involved.”
Dhaliwal said a sizeable number of cheques issued to village sarpanches went utilised and were being returned to the department. These grants would now be utilised under the watch of the area MLAs.
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