Imphal: The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Monday demanded a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of a nearly 1700 crore scam under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in four hill districts of Manipur.
Speaking to media persons, MPCC president Keisham Meghachandra charged that a huge amount of money was withdrawn for the construction of roads in various places of Chandel, Churachandpur, Ukhrul and Tamenglong districts. But no visible roads were found in these districts, he added.
The allegation came at a time when Yumnam Khemchand Singh, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of Manipur conducted a field visit along Rengpang to Mongjaron Khullen (15km), Soukhap-Thang to Nungnang (22km) and certain lengths of road stretch at Khoupum along Imphal-Jiribam road at Nungba block on Saturday where, speaking to media person, he disclosed that a Rs 7 crore had been withdrawn, but no visible road constructions were found.
Giving examples, the Congress chief said, the department had released 39.7 crore for, i) Protection Work and ii) Cross Drainage from New Somtal to Moreh road to one contractor (SN Pavei) during 2017-18. Almost all the money has been withdrawn but no progress of works was there, Meghachandra charged. He further alleged that during 2018-19, the department had released over some Rs 50 crore for the same road but this time wasvto a different contractor ( Mingyao Ruivanao). Almost half of the money had been withdrawn, but no road was there.
In all, Rs 1690.96 crore has been withdrawn for various road-related programmes in these four hill districts which included Churachandpur – Rs 67756.69 lakh, Tamenglong – Rs 51237.32 lakh, Chendel – Rs 13568.29 lakh and Ukhrul – Rs 36533.95 lakhs. If we added the few remaining hill districts, the looted amount by officials would be over Rs 3 thousand crore, he added.
The lawmaker further said the Central government was already prepared for PMGSY Phase III but suspected that the amount wouldn’t be received until and unless utilisation certification is sent.
It’s high time the state government investigates the case by handing over the same to a central investigating agency, which otherwise will be exposed to the national media and inform the central leadership including President, Prime Minister and concerned ministry.
The Congress leader also expressed regret that the concerned minister was denying the charge of misappropriation of funds under PMGSY by officials of his department. Since the minister himself accepted that there is a scam in his department, he should immediately launch without delay an investigation and take appropriate action against those officials involved, he contended.