MGNREGA job card scam | BDO among three officials attached

The government has attached Block Development Officer (BDO) Khovripora here along with two other officials in the multi-crore MGNREGA job card scam exposed by this newspaper.

On the basis of the findings in the preliminary report of the inquiry committee, the BDO Khovripora, the Panchayat Secretary, Akhura, and the Gram RozgarSahayak, Akhura have been attached with the Directorate of Rural Development, Kashmir till further orders. “The officers/officials shall remain attached with the Directorate RDD, Kashmir till the committee submits its final report to the government for taking further course of action,” reads an order issued in this regard.

Taking cognizance of a report published in Greater Kashmir on May 14, Commissioner/ Secretary RDD Sheetal Nanda had constituted a high-level team headed by her Additional Secretary Sudharshan Kumar to conduct the inquiry.

Acting swiftly, the team comprising Director RDD, Kashmir, QaziSarwar, and Deputy Director Planning, Muhamad Ashraf, seized records from the office of Block Development Office (BDO) Khovripora and also visited various houses to check the veracity of job cards issued to them.

The preliminary report confirmed “the brazen irregularities in issuance of job cards, but the inquiry team would be visiting the Khovripora block in Anantnag to ascertain more details and then only submit the detailed report,” sources said. 

As reported by this newspaper, the wages drawn “fraudulently” were being deposited directly into the bank accounts of middlemen and contractors allegedly chosen by the RDD officials in the Block Development Office.

The documents had revealed that hundreds of fake and duplicate job cards for workers under MGNREGA had been issued by the RDD, pointing to a large scale corruption in the central government scheme implemented in J&K in 2008.

It was also reported that in some cases government employees, deceased people and minors had been shown as beneficiaries. In some cases it was found that a single person was holding multiple job cards under different registration numbers.

The flagship program guarantees 100 days of employment to people from rural areas, without a government job. The job card is provided to a family head holding a ration card.