Derabish: The Odisha government is spending crores on the development and restoration of drainage systems, but irregularities have affected some projects in Kendrapara district. One such case has come to the fore in Garadpur area where over Rs 2 crore meant for drainage restoration has allegedly been misappropriated through fake bills. Locals and farmers from four panchayats have taken up the issue with the Kendrapara district collector and the superintending engineer of the drainage division.
According to reports, hundreds of acres of low-lying farmlands and swamp lands like Hariankapata, Paniola, Janrabarimula and Hurasahipata under Garadpur block get waterlogged during the monsoons and this is an annual problem. Farmers of Bangalpur panchayat in the past had repeatedly urged the collector and the authorities of the drainage division to lay hume pipes wherever necessary.
Years later, the drainage division had allocated Rs 2 crore for the purpose and a tender was floated. Locals alleged that the contractor concerned did not carry out the work, but embezzled the entire fund in collusion with an assistant engineer. Harianka Sarpanch Kanaklata Pradhan, Indola sarpanch Jyotsnamayee Behera and Janrabarimula sarpanch Shankarsan Parida and hundreds of farmers made such complaint before the Collector. They have demanded a Vigilance investigation into the matter. When contacted, superintending engineer of the drainage division Bankanidhi Samal said that he has received a complaint about the irregularities. “The matter will be investigated and action will be taken accordingly,” he assured.