India, Orissa: dead man builds road, latrines “stolen”

The head of a village in Kendrapara district, Orissa has accused her predecessor of embezzlement of government funds. According to Ms. Mamatarani Dasthe, Sarpanch (viilage head) of Gangapada, Rs 30,000 was spent in 2003-2004 on road that was never constructed. In addition “the work order was issued against a man who was dead well before the execution of the work”.

Earlier the Sarpanch had registered an official complaint regarding the theft of two latrines built during 2006-financial year as part of village sanitation programme.

“After I got elected as the head of the panchayat body last year, I had made it a point to take stock of movable governmental assets and property under the panchayat jurisdiction”, the Sarpanch said. “I was shocked to be informed that there is no physical trace of the recently built latrines. That’s [why] I thought it prudent to register an official complaint. But till date no action is initiated to take the offenders to task,” she regretted. It is suspected that the Rs 40,000 in grants allocated for sanitation were never spent on building latrines.

Source: Manoj Kar, Kalinga Times,26 Dec 2008

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