Karbi Anglong Officer Under Scrutiny For Alleged Graft and Corruption Charges

Three organizations in Karbi Anglong demanded the arrest of Sub-divisional Officer (SDO) Irrigation Bolin Das. They allege he has embezzlea a mammoth amount of the central government’s subsidized funds meant for implementation of irrigation projects in the district.

The Diphu United Farmers Committee (UFC), People’s Ranger for Fundamental Rights (PRFR) and Halali Progressive Welfare Society demanded the immediate arrest of Mr. Das.

The organizations demanded the arrest in a press meet held at Diphu Press Club on Sunday. They suspect Mr. Das has drawn off more than 20 crores of rupees from more than 6 irrigation projects where he was the in charge officer since 2003.

Bidya Sing Rongp President of UFC outlined the dynamics of the siphoning process of public money by Bolin Das. He said that not only Das but all other officials involved in such large scale corruption should be arrested and an enquiry should be initiated.

The organizations particularly noted an irrigation project funded from Non Lapsable Central Pull of Resource worth Rs. 8 crore, 71 lakhs and 65 thousands. That project was executed at Kako Basti, just 7 kilometres from Diphu town under the supervision of Sub divisional Officer Bolin Das. He was also the Section Officer of the project. The aggrieved party who was dissatisfied with the job filed a case in Diphu police station( case no PSC/154/13, US 409/420 IPC) alleging that the entire amount was used, but only 10% of the work was done.

Meanwhile Pranab Nunisa, an advisor to social organization Halali-Razi,( Halali Progressive Welfare Society) based at Dibarai locality of Haflong town, submitted an application to Governor of Assam Sri PB Acharya urging his intervention. The application requests a high-level inquiry against the notorious Kako Basti irrigation project alleging massive scale financial embezzlement of government funds.

“Hundreds of instances where works valued more than 5 to 10 crore rupees have been settled with the privileged contractors related with the Executive Members and Chief Executive Member of the KAAC without inviting national bids,” Mohon Rongpi, prominent RTI activist in Diphu said. [Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Member Facing Corruption Charges]

In a detailed inquiry about the Kako Basti irrigation structure, VL. Malsawm Thiek, investigating officer of Diphu police station registered a case in Diphu police station as revealed above. The case was forwarded to the Executive Engineer, PWD, Roads Division, Diphu requesting him to conduct detailed analysis to ascertain the actual work completed and the value of the construction.

The project in question i.e. “Kako Basti Irrigation Scheme” worth Rs. Rs. 8 crore, 71 lakhs and 65 thousands was provided by Ministry of DONER, under NLCPR against the proposal with approved cost and admissible grant. To peruse the enquiry, the Executive Engineer referred the matter to the Additional Chief Engineer PWD (R&B) Hills, Assam, Diphu.

After much deliberation, the matter was referred to the Superintending Engineer, PWD (R&B), Diphu Circle-I. The incumbent SE ultimately undertook the enquiry process along with Jugen Das. AEE of Diphu Road Division and Pratap Terang AE of Superintending Engineer, PWD (R&B) on June 12, 2014, vide letter No ACEH/TECH/09/2014-15/3-A. The whole matter has remained sheltered within the PWD department’s file since then.

During a field inquiry, local people of the area alleged that nothing has been implemented in accordance with the DPR (detail project report) which was estimated at Rs.897.804 Lakhs from the NLCPR of 2011-2012. It was stated in the DPR that at least 160 families would benefit from the scheme.

“You can assess with your naked eye that an exorbitant estimate has been prepared in every subject. The projected command area of GCA 490 Hectares in fact has not been accommodated and the small head work like a sluice gate over the flow of Kaku does not discharge a faction of water as claimed in the DPR. Similarly more than hundred percent expenditure has been made against items like survey and investigation, construction of Head Work both regular and temporary, diversion work, construction of Marginal dyke, river trimming and protection work in upper and middle stream, earth work in canal system, canal lining, construction of almost nonexistent approach road, hydraulic structure and fourth grade shed. Even a layman can understand the magnitude of corruption and embezzlement of public money carryout through this government of India project,” a resident of Kaku Basti village said.

Sushanta Roy
Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.