Case filed with Lokayukta against former Dy CEM of council

Crores of central funds to GHADC allegedly misappropriated

TURA: The former deputy chief executive member and current MDC from Silkigre constituency of South Garo Hills in the Garo Hills Autonomus District Council, Augustine R Marak, has found himself in the dock after two RTI activists moved the Lokayukta court in Shillong alleging widespread misappropriation of central funds worth close to three crore rupees which were given for developmental projects.

RTI activists Wilnath T Sangma and Nilberth Ch Marak filed the case before the anti-corruption ombudsman on Friday.

The two activists approached the court after they obtained documents from the district council through an RTI and visited the sites of the developmental projects only to find many sites empty with no construction work taken up.

Funds to the tune of Rs 2,62,28,150.00 were allegedly spent on these schemes which did not have any physical work undertaken.

The alleged misappropriation is said to have taken place with the central funds released by the Narendra Modi Government to the GHADC worth Rs 100.71 Crores released in 2015-16 as a onetime Special Assistance Scheme.

The scheme allowed the sitting MDCs, including the CEM and Chairman, to take up developmental projects in their respective constituencies by utilising the central funds. The decision to release such a huge amount of funds to the MDCs had raised many an eyebrow given the poor track record of many MDCs in implementing development projects.

In their case filed before the Lokayukta, the two activists presented before the court details of fifty development schemes created by the Silkigre MDC which were allotted to nine of his contractors. In almost a majority of the projects funds were released 100 percent even though there was no construction work taken up.

One project where the entire money was released for work undertaken was allegedly construction of a shopping complex at Karukol village worth Rs 95 lakh. There is also the non-existence of a community hall at Bibragre village worth Rs. 9,50,000/-.

A whooping sum of Rs 47,50,000 was given to one of the MDC’s contractors for the construction of a CC Drain at Alokpang village while no drain has been made.

Out of the fifty schemes released by the sitting MDC, funds between 60 and 100 percent has already been released for 33 projects to as many as nine contractors.

Besides Silkigre MDC Augustine Marak, who stands accused in the alleged misappropriation case, there are also his contractors and two district council officials named as collaborators in the alleged scam.

The sectional officer and the superintending engineer of the civil works department of GHADC are accused of giving a clearance of the projects implementation so that funds could be released.

It is worth mentioning that the Silkigre MDC from the Garo National Council party is a former student leader who once actively took part in the Garoland State movement.

Some of the schemes with no work done but money released:

Shopping complex in Karukol- Rs 95,00,000/-

Footbridge at Asakgre- Rs 4,75,000/-

Footpath at Jetragre- Rs 1,90,000/-

Footpath at Daggal Songgital- Rs 1,90,000/-

Community hall at Bibragre- Rs 9,50,000/-

Waiting shed at Dobagre Chokpot- Rs 4,75,000/-

Village Court at Bilgre- Rs 14,25,000/-

Waiting shed at Dombe Wari- Rs 4,51,150/-

Waiting shed at Dobogre Chokpot (B)- Rs 3,80,000/-

Dustbin at Kakija bazaar- Rs 47,000/-

CC Drain at Alokpang- Rs 47,50,000/-

Kacha road  Balwatgre to Mandang Reding- Rs 50,00,000/-

Waiting shed at Darengre- Rs 4,94,400/-

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