The Anti-Corruption Bureau found the sanitary inspector and the Assistant Medical Officer involved in the embezzlement of salary money

Embezzlement of government funds by incorporating fictitious names in the list of self-help groups (SHGs), which were assigned sanitary works in Qutbullahpur circle of the GHMC, was detected by Anti-Corruption Bureau officials on Saturday.

A special team led by ACB DSP T. Shankar Reddy raided the Qutbullahpur circle office on a tip-off and seized Rs. 1.99 lakh from two persons D. Srinivas and Chander, in-charges of SHG works. The seized sum was paid by representatives of seven SHGs to the duo at the behest of the circle’s sanitary inspector (SI) and assistant medical officer (AMO), Mr. Shankar Reddy said.

According to him, there are over 100 SHGs registered in Qutbullahpur circle office, which are given works like sweeping roads and cleaning drainages. Each SHG has nearly seven members and is headed by a Field Supervisor or Assistant. On an average, each member of the SHG gets a monthly remuneration of Rs. 5,500.

Fictitious names

“The fraud lies in inclusion of fictitious names in these SHGs as members. They are incorporated at the instructions of the Sanitary Inspector and the Assistant Medical Officer,” the ACB DSP said. An estimated 100 fictitious names had been introduced in the SHGs.

Though no members exist on these names, the monthly salaries are paid and drawn. This amount goes into the pockets of the SI and the AMO as the SHGs’ Field Supervisors would pay the money to them at regular intervals.

On knowing that the SI and the AMO were receiving money, the ACB officials raided the circle office and found D. Srinivas and Chander, who were working there to coordinate works related to SHGs, in possession of Rs. 1.99 lakh which was paid by the representatives of the SHGs.

The ACB officials suspect that there are nearly 100 fictitious names in the groups in Qutbullahpur circle. An estimated Rs. 60 lakh was embezzled in this manner in a year, Mr. Shankar Reddy said. He said a report would be submitted to the government in this regard and further action will be initiated against the municipal officials concerned after questioning the SHG members.

There are 18 circles in GHMC and officials are now planning to check other circles also for such malpractices.

More In: Hyderabad