Khemchand refutes fund misappropriation charge


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 23: Maintaining that funds withdrawn so far against PMGSY works are commensurate with the works executed, RD&PR Minister Y Khemchand has refuted the allegation that huge amounts of funds sanctioned for PMGSY works had been withdrawn without executing the works.
Speaking to media persons at his Old Secretariat office today, Y Khemchand rejected MPCC president and MLA K Meghachandra’s allegation that over Rs 300 crore have been withdrawn without executing the sanctioned works.
The allegation that Rs 8945.18 lakh had been withdrawn from the total amount of Rs 26026.9 lakh sanctioned for construction of 411.75 Kms in Churachandpur district after constructing just 33.7 Kms is false, Khemchand contended.
He clarified that the total length of roads which should be constructed under PMGSY in Churachandpur district is 1089.37 Kms, not 411.75 Kms, and 356.7 Kms had been already constructed.
Construction of 727.87 Kms is now in different phases, he said.
Saying that he did not give any instruction to engineers or any authority to release bills, Khemchand maintained that geo-tagging photographs should be attached to all bills submitted for clearance.
Engineers have been instructed to ensure that bills are attached with photographs (taken from two directions) of the road construction works for every kilometre. Strict instruction has been given to authority concerned not to release any bill if they are not attached with geo-tagging photographs, the RD&PR Minister said.
There is a mechanism of monitoring the quality of PMGSY works. Apart from engineers, State Quality Monitoring and National Quality Monitoring teams have been monitoring the quality of works. No bill can be released without their approval.
There may be some minor flaws or lapses in the construction of lengthy roads in hill areas. Yet, the department has been working to ensure that the roads are constructed according to guidelines, Khemchand said.
Even though MPCC president K Meghachandra’s allegation may not be 100 per cent false, the allegation he made is unfortunate as it has the potential to tarnish the department’s image, he continued.
“Instead of making false allegations, we may consult each other and work together to ensure that all development works are executed strictly in accordance to guidelines”, Khemchand said.
There is a report of conducting an enquiry after transferring an engineer with in connection with withdrawal of excess bill in Tamenglong district around three years back.
After engineers concerned were consulted about the report, the contractor was summoned and warned that legal action would be initiated against if the incomplete work was not completed.
Subsequently, the contractor resumed the incomplete work, Khemchand added.