Tura, May 18: The Mindikgre unit of the Garo Students’ Union (GSU) today called for a judicial probe into the allegations of misappropriation of funds meant for the restoration of the nokpante (Garo bachelors’ dormitory) at Asakgre village near Chokpot in South Garo Hills district.
The students’ body alleged that the contractor, who was given the responsibility to refurbish the nokpante, has withdrawn 85 per cent of the Rs 10 lakh sanctioned for the project but barely started any work.
The aim of restoring the nokpante was to promote tourism in the area.
In a complaint to South Garo Hills deputy commissioner Shella N. Marak, the GSU has sought a probe into the alleged misuse of funds.
“We filed a complaint with the deputy commissioner asking for an inquiry because 85 per cent of the funds have been withdrawn and literally no construction, barring a few posts, has been done. This comes after local villagers complained to us about the non-completion of work,” said Greneth M. Sangma, president of GSU’s Mindikgre unit.
The students’ body has sought stern action against the contractor, Kelson Ch. Marak.
“Withdrawing the money without proper work is a scam and action needs to be taken against the contractor if he is found guilty. The money was withdrawn in November 2015,” Sangma added.
A group of residents from Selsella in West Garo Hills district today submitted a complaint to deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi alleging that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan block coordinator had forced them to purchase materials for building a toilet from Mahavir Trade Agency, a popular hardware store in Tura.
The residents alleged the hardware store is charging 40 per cent higher rates for the materials and the inflated bills are being adjusted under the supervision and direction the mission coordinator.
“Last week, the coordinator of Swachh Bharat Mission in Selsella block called us to his office and gave us some blank cash memos and delivery challans of the hardware store and instructed us to submit blank copies with seal and signature. We refused to do so,” the complainants said in their letter to Bakshi.
The residents said the hardware store was charging Rs 3,000 more for the materials as compared to the market at New Bhaitbari near Selsella.
“We can construct a better toilet if we purchase materials from other hardware stores,” the residents said, urging Bakshi to allow them to purchase materials from any other hardware store and initiating a probe against the mission coordinator.