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Goof-up in IAY implementation in West Garo Hills; BDO refute charges

Rakme Sangma (named changed), aged about 40 years from a village near Phulbari in West Garo Hills, a mother of two daughter feels cheated. She alleges that the block office has given them substandard material for construction of a house under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY). 
 
After making several visit to the block office, she was listed as the beneficiary for the scheme. However, the result has disappointed her. She wants to complete the construction of her house but the materials are of very poor quality, especially the bricks that has dampened her spirit. 
 
There are many like Rakme in neighbouring villages of Phulbari, who are victims of ignorance. According to IAY guideline - (a) The construction should be carried out by the beneficiary; (b) No contractor should be involved in the construction of the house; (c) The house should also not be constructed by any government department or agency. In such a case, why has the block office not allowed any choice to Rakme and many others. 
 
In Shyamnagar locality of Phulbari, many beneficiaries are willing to narrate their sordid accounts. However, they requested us not to quote them. 
 
"We are giving this information on good faith. Please take up the matter at appropriate level", said a local leader, who didnot wanted to be identified. 
 
Another youth activist, accompanying this scribe said, "We want you to highlight this on media, so that goverment will constitute a probe". 
 
A sum of Seventy Five Thousand (INR 75,000) is provided to the beneficiary under IAY for construction of a low cost house. This scheme is meant for below poverty level families. Civil bodies investigating the matter on condition of anonymity remarked - there is a nexus between block office and distributor of materials. 
 
The block office is making arrangement for providing bricks, cement and CGI sheets to the beneficiaries. This is inappropriate, as the guideline clearly states - the beneficiary should be given the sanctioned amount, which should be transferred to his/her bank account. 
 
"I have been provided with bricks, tin, cement, etc and INR 25,000/-. Block office made me sign saying that I have received a Cheque of INR 75,000/-. If we question, they get angry.", said another beneficiary. 
 
However, Selsella BDO Dr. Roy refutes the allegation saying that funds are directly transferred to the beneficiaries account. "No money or construction material has been given to any beneficiary. Gram Sevak is ensuring that the funds are utilised properly and houses were built", said Dr. Roy. 
The reality looks different - as not one but several beneficiaries have spoken of their sordid affairs. 
Many even say that Gram Sevak is involved in overseeing whole procedure for release of IAY funds, questioning his role and manipulation.
 
There were others, who remarked that Gram Sevak hardly makes any survey of the village or houses built. There are many contradictory remarks, which has emerged demanding a probe towards this entire goof-up.
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Saidul Khan's picture

Based in Tura, Meghalaya

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