3rd party probe ordered into RAY, transit house scams

Jajpur:The state government has decided to order a third party probe into the irregularities committed in the construction of houses for slum dwellers under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) and in the construction of a transit house by this civic body, a report said Tuesday.

A third party inspection and monitoring agency (TPIMA) will conduct the probe. The government has appointed Architechno Consultant, an agency, for the purpose.

The matter came out after mission director Suresh Chandra Dalai of Odisha Urban Housing Mission (OUHM) sent a letter (1687, dated-10.09.2018) asking the Executive Officer of Jajpur Municipality to extend cooperation to the agency during the probe.

The order came after a report was filed by the CAG indicating serious irregularities in the construction of houses for slum dwellers under the Centre sponsored scheme as well as in the transit house case. The order has triggered panic among concerned officials and public representatives involved in the irregularities.

Sources said the Jajpur civic body constructed a transit house by spending Rs 4.14 crore for 104 poor slum dwellers in the town, but later it was turned into a market complex.

The CAG report claims that the slum dwellers have not spent even a day in the transit house set up for them. This was highlighted by this newspaper.

Special Duty Officer Bijay Lakshmi Jena even sought a reply from the Executive Officer of Jajpur Municipality on the basis of the CAG report July 17, 2018. Later, a review meeting was held in the OUHM conference hall over the irregularities, September 6, 2018 where threadbare discussions were made on finished and unfinished houses under RAY scheme, sanctioned funds, under construction houses, list of beneficiaries and utilization certificates.

At this meeting participants called for a third party probe and handed over charge to Architechno Consultant.

The CAG report detected irregularities of over Rs 2.39 crore in the construction of 73 houses under the scheme. It claims that Rs 31.31 crore was sanctioned for the construction of 1,597 houses for poor slum dwellers out of which the construction of 558 houses have been completed. 181 houses were under construction, while work on 858 housing units was not started.  The report claims that only Rs 23.09 crore was spent.

The report stated that some influential politicians occupied 48 houses constructed for slum dwellers between April and May, 2017. A single person reportedly bagged two houses under the scheme.

The civic body went out of its way and constructed a market complex in place of a transit house with funds of Rs 4.14 core sanctioned under RAY for slum dwellers.

The market complex houses trading houses ike two-wheeler showrooms, medicine store, nursing homes and apparel showrooms.

Executive Officer Shiba Prasad Mohapatra of Jajpur Municipality said that he has not received the order, and that all cooperation would be extended to the agency during the probe.

 

PNN

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