Funds for repair of Ghaggar banks pilfered, claims MLA - ECAS Punjab

Funds for repair of Ghaggar banks pilfered, claims MLA

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Parvesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 11

The utilisation of Rs 40 lakh by the Panchayat Department to strengthen the embankments of the Ghaggar in Moonak subdivision has come under the scanner as locals claimed they had got the work done by contributing Rs 200 per acre.

Former state Finance Minister and Lehra MLA Parminder Dhindsa today, during a meeting of the Committee on Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions of the Vidhan Sabha, raised the issue of alleged misappropriation of Rs 40 lakh.

"Residents have spent lakhs of rupees by contributing Rs 200 per acre while we have not seen any required action from the Panchayat Department to strengthen the Ghaggar banks. I have raised the issue of misappropriation of Rs 40 lakh during the meeting. Committee chairman Harpartap Singh has assured me appropriate action in the matter. The state government should also take strict action against the officers concerned immediately," Dhindsa told The Tribune.

On July 12 this year, there was a 50-ft breach in Ghaggar's embankment, around one kilometre from Moonak. Last year also, a breach near Phullad had caused damaged to thousands of acres of standing crop. Locals have been alleging that funds meant for cleaning and strengthening the Ghaggar banks were never utilised properly, causing repeated breaches and erosion in its embankments.

"Residents of Moonak, Surjan Bhaini, Bhundan Bhaini, Hamirgarh and Salemgarh have pooled in Rs 200 per acre this year and strengthened the embankments of the Ghaggar from Makraud Sahib till the university college of Moonak. We do not know how the government's funds are being utilised?" said Kabul Singh, a member of the committee of area residents. The panel was formed to arrange money to strengthen embankments after the government failed to undertake the much-needed repairs.

Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) Moonak Savinder Singh denied all allegations.

"Of the Rs 40 lakh, we have released Rs 20 lakh while the remaining amount will be given after the reviewing the work, which is near completion. We got the work done with transparency and also videographed it," he said.

from The Tribune

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