Nayagarh: Existence of an unholy nexus between some officials of horticulture department in Nayagarh district and some fake beneficiaries to embezzle government money has recently come to the fore following a report furnished by the concerned department in response to an RTI.
While beneficiaries deny that they have not been given any saplings, records of the horticulture department suggest that the plant saplings were provided and withered away. This clearly shows the irregularities of the horticulture department.
Such bizarre incident has been reported from Nuapali village under Begunia panchayat under Ranpur block in Nayagarh district.
Residents here came to know that they had been given plant saplings worth lakhs for plantation. They sought information through RTI asking for details.
Surprising enough, the information furnished by the horticulture department revealed that many saplings were provided to them and were washed away by flood.
As per the department’s information Guluru Dalabehera had planted 40 mango saplings received from horticulture department under MGNREGS on his 0.4 hectare land in the year 2015-16. His land being on the bank of a river, last year the flood water washed away all the plants.
Similarly the information also mentions that Guluru’s son Narayan Dalabehera had planted 50 cashew nut saplings in 2015-16 which were destroyed in Titli cyclone.
Under MIDH Yojana, Guluru’s daughter-in-law Swarnalata Behera had planted 50 cashew nut saplings in 2015-16. Her all the saplings too were destroyed in Titli cyclone.
While locals found it hard to believe that all the saplings planted by three members of a family had died, they doubted something fishy.
Locals alleged that the government is providing subsidy to eligible farmers to encourage farming whereas some unscrupulous employees are eyeing for the money to usurp it.
Alleging that they had been furnished with wrong information, locals demanded an enquiry to find out who are involved in the nexus. They contended that the saplings had never been distributed at all.
When contacted, Bhagirathi Pradhan, director of horticulture said an investigation would soon be initiated to find out the veracity of the allegation and action would be taken against the guilty.