Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jajpur, Feb 9:
Large scale irregularities to the tune of lakhs have come to the fore at Odisha’s Jajpur district.
An RTI query filed by the Badachana panchayat, sarpanch Sushama Pradhan revealed that ghost and fake beneficiaries have been enrolled in Sasan Purushottampur in the district.
The RTI application sought information on Konark Jute Mill colony ward no-2 PDS retailer where 109 BPL beneficiaries have been enrolled. The information was provided on 84 benefactors and data on other on remaining 25 people was not given.
There have been allegations of pilferage in the Public Distribution System (PDS) supplies meant for BPL families in the area.
To utter surprise, the employees of the defunct Konark Jute Ltd (KJL), who had moved out of the area opting for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) after the subsidiary of the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation Limited (Idcol) winded up its operations at Dhanmandal in Jajpur district, are still getting benefits of the PDS system meant for BPL and APL families.
‘‘There have been more than one BPL and APL cards issued to people in the area. We have unearthed many fake ration cards in Sasan Purushottampur ward no-2. Besides, people from other panchayats have been enrolled in this ward,’’ Pradhan said.
Upon discovery of such large scale irregularities in the panchayats, the said sarpanch has filed written complaint with the district collector.
Notably, the Sasan Purushottampur ward no-2, where the Konark Jute Mill colony was set up, has many ghost beneficiaries. There are at least 42 fake BPL and as many APL ration cards in this ward. Moreover, these ghost beneficiaries do not belong to this panchayat, Pradhan said.
Of the list of 84 BPL beneficiaries, there are 42 fake ration card holders and as many ghost beneficiaries of the 60 APL card holders as they do not come under her panchayat. Besides, people are having multiple ration cards of both the categories, she alleged.
The rice, kerosene supplied for BPL beneficiaries and wheat, kerosene provided for APL ration card holders are being siphoned off in the name of fake ration card holders.
It may be mentioned that the composite jute mill (Konark Jute Ltd) having over 2200 employees was incorporated in 1979 at Dhanmandal as a joint-sector company with National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Ltd (Nafed) as co-promoter. It later became a subsidiary of Idcol.