The State government has ordered an investigation by the Karnataka Institute of Public Auditors (KIPA) into the alleged irregularities in the utilisation of funds under the Suvarna Grama Yojana in Yadgir, Koppal and Chickballapur districts during 2011-12.
Officials in the State Secretariat told The Hindu here on Thursday that the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) ordered the investigation into the misuse of funds by officials of the zilla, taluk and gram panchayats in the three districts.
A six-member team of the KIPA has been asked to submit a report to the government within 15 days.
Based on a recommendation made by Suvarna Grama Yojana Director Bhuvanahalli Nagaraj, Additional Chief Secretary of the RDPR Department T.M. Vijay Bhaskar ordered the investigation into the execution of works under the third phase of the yojana.
Officials said that more than Rs. 30 crore was allegedly misappropriated by officials of the taluk and zilla panchayats in the three districts. Works related to drainage, drinking water schemes and community hall were taken up without inviting tenders. Besides producing fake bills for purchase of materials, officials said that the implementing agencies had purchased equipment at a higher cost.
The yojana was launched during 2006-07, but its implementation began in 2007-08. The objective of the scheme is to upgrade the physical environment of selected villages for improving the quality of life by providing adequate infrastructure for human resources development, including education, health services, and childcare facilities.
The government had earmarked Rs. 1,000 crore for the implementation of the scheme in 1,574 villages during 2011-12.
Earlier, Minister for RDPR H.K. Patil had directed a three-member team of the department to conduct an investigation into the irregularities in implementation of the scheme in the three districts. But, the team was unable to complete the task because of “work pressure” in the department.
The RDPR officials said that chief executive officers of the zilla panchayats, executive officers of the taluk panchayats, and panchayat development officers in each district were responsible for the execution of the scheme. The progress of the scheme, however, had been tardy in these districts because of alleged laxity of these officials, they said.