Badagaon: Lakhs of rupees have allegedly been misappropriated by showing old farm ponds in Barangakachhar panchayat under Badagaon block in Sundargarh district, a report said.
According to the report, the soil conservation department had sanctioned a farm pond to Kumarmani Sa of Mundagoan in 2010. This pond was shown as a new project in official papers while wags of the job card holders have been embezzled.
As per information available from the website on MGNREGS, Rs 41,886 has been paid to labourers engaged in the farm pond of Kumarmani.
When asked about it, Kumarmani, the farm pond beneficiary, said the pond sanctioned by the soil conservation department was dug up 10 years ago.
“A few days ago, two officials came to my pond and got the banks of the pond cleaned. Then, they took my photograph near the pond. I heard that the farm pond was sanctioned in my name again. Wages of labourers have been embezzled even though the pond has not been excavated,” he added.
Manoj Chudia, a resident of Mudangoan, has been enlisted as a daily wager in the muster roll prepared for Kumarmani’s farm pond excavation.
When asked about it, Manoj said he has never worked in the pond excavation.
Wage was credited into his account, he said, adding that Prakash Nayak of his village withdrew wage from his account after paying him only Rs 200.
Many other labourers whose names have been enlisted in the muster roll have denied working in the excavation of the farm pond. In another case, Rs 98, 646 sanctioned for a farm pond in the name of another beneficiary Janmejay Rautia has been embezzled.
The project was sanctioned in February, 2021. The amount was shown as wages of labourers engaged in the pond excavation.
It was learnt that wages of 24 days in the name of Kruti Dharua; 12 days in the name of Dhanu Dharua and 24 days in the name of Prafulla Dansana have been misappropriated.
When asked about the wages, all the daily wagers denied having worked in any pond excavation. When contacted, Dhaneswar Munda, an official of the watershed department, said the matter will be investigated.