Monday, March 4, 2024

Social activist backs NGCO over siphoning of Eco-Tourism Projects

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Biplab Kr Dey

Tura, Dec 6: Social activist, Cherian Momin has come out in support of the allegations made by the Niksamso Garo Community Organization (NGCO) which exposed discrepancies in the allocation and utilization of funds for eco-tourism projects in East, West and South West Garo Hills.

Since the revelation the chief minister, Conrad Sangma and tourism minister, Paul Lyngdoh rubbished the allegations adding that no discrepancies were found. NGCO however has been adamant on the fact that site visits have made them aware of the situation while an RTI has revealed the extent of corruption in these projects.

A total of 12 such projects at a total cost of Rs 14.39 were sanctioned under NEC in the year 2017.

In a release today, both the NGCO president, Tengrak Marak as well as social activist Momin sought a detailed probe into the incomplete projects and mismanagement of public funds.

“Despite being marked as complete on paper, these projects stand abandoned, with nature reclaiming the sites. Evidence, including a video showcasing the neglected Gittokgre Eco Tourism site, has been presented, raising significant concerns about the lack of progress in vital community projects. The cases elsewhere are similar,” said Momin.

On the fact that more than 90% of the allocated amount was already being withdrawn, Momin raised concerns while adding that there was a need for accountability.

“We condemn the apparent mismanagement of funds and the situation is unacceptable. Depriving the people of the Centre’s projects is condemnable, and those responsible for this illegal act must be held accountable,” he added.

The activist added that according to their visits Gambagre in WGH, Bolsalgre and Damalgre in SWGH also suffered a similar fate.

Momin mooted for immediate action in such cases of corruption and asked for those responsible to be brought to book.

“Their revelations continue to stir public concern. It is our collective responsibility to safeguard the integrity of community projects and for transparency and accountability in the disbursement of funds meant for public welfare,” he felt.

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