The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has demanded the authorities concerned for investigation by a national investigation agency into the road construction scam worth Rs 300 crore to be taken up in three hill districts of Manipur, to root out corruption in the state.
Addressing the media at the Congress Bhawan, BT Road, Imphal West on Thursday, MPCC president Keisham Meghachandra said that a huge amount of money was released for construction of road in various places of Churachandpur, Chandel and Tamenglong districts in 2017-2018 under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). However, the majority of works are yet to be completed and some works are still yet to be taken up.
He informed that for Churachandpur district, construction work has to be carried out in 20 different places of the district under Programme Implementation Unit (PIU)-I, PIU-II and PIU-III. The total length of road to be constructed with total sanction cost of Rs 26,026.9 lakh is 411.75 km. Of this total stretch of road, only 33.7 km is completed and the amount of money released (expenditure amount) was Rs 8,945.18 lakh.
In the case of Tamenglong district, total work to be done under PIU-I, PIU-II and PIU-III is 27. The total length of road to be constructed is 548.2 Km with sanction amount of Rs 29,425.42 lakh. Of this, Rs 13,797.15 lakh has been released (expenditure amount) and completed a distance of 220.29 km till date, he added.
Stating about the status of PMGSY works under PIU-III Chandel, he said that total length of road to be taken up under sanctioned amount of Rs 8,499.48 lakh is 156.46 Km. The amount paid till date is Rs 5,663.4 lakh but even in these areas, many works are yet to be completed.
While alleging the involvement of officials of concerned departments from SO to chief engineer level, he said that without signature of officials of the department, said amount of money cannot be released. As such, the state government should investigate the matter by forming a high power committee headed by chief secretary or chief minister if MLAs or ministers are involved under Manipur Public Servant Personal Liability Act.
Condemning the misappropriation of funds, he said that the sanctioned amount proved that the central government is concerned about improving the road connectivity in hill areas but that maximum money is being diverted unfortunately. “Where have ADC members, civil society organisations and anti-corruption cells gone? Why are they remaining silent when roads are not constructed even after money was released five years back?” he questioned.