Staff Correspondent

Fund embezzlement comes to light Misappropriation of funds, discrepancy in accounts come to light

Ashraya houses allotted illegallyCompensation for crop loss not distributed to farmersNorms violated in award of tenders, purchase of materials

HASSAN: Lokayukta N. Venkatachala raided offices of the taluk and town panchayats and government hospital in Belur taluk on Wednesday and detected embezzlement of funds and discrepancy in accounts.

He directed senior district officials to initiate action against those responsible. At the taluk panchayat office, he found illegal allotment of Ashraya houses and misappropriation of funds released for giving compensation to farmers for crop loss during the recent flood. He took officials, who released funds for the incomplete Ashraya houses, to task and sought clarifications from authorities for having registered only 300 of the 500 shops in taluk headquarters.

`Blacklist contractors'

He also observed violation of norms, while awarding tenders and purchase of material for development works. He directed the authorities to blacklist the contractors and initiate action against them.

During his visit, people complained that authorities demanded bribe for sanctioning old age pension and to provide copies of records. Mr. Venkatachala directed Tahsildar Jagannath to inquire into the matter and initiate action those who were harassing the public.

When he visited the taluk hospital, people complained that despite two technicians in X-ray department, they were being denied of proper service as both of them were irregular to work.

Mr. Venkatachala directed District Health Officer Nagaraja Rao to either transfer the two technicians from Belur or suspend them for dereliction of duty. People also complained that despite enough stock of medicine, they were asked to purchase medicines from outside. Lokayukta visited the storeroom and found large quantity of medicine past their expiry date.

Mr. Venkatachala visited various offices in Alur taluk and found undistributed cheques for Rs. 16 lakhs, which were to be distributed among farmers of four hoblis for crop loss in last year's floods.

Disappointed with the functioning of taluk panchayat, he directed Deputy Commissioner K.H. Ashwathanarayana Gowda to supersede it.