Mayawati lays down norms for rural health mission

Special Correspondent
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No breakthrough yet in the Chief Medical Officer murder case

Chief Minister Mayawati
Chief Minister Mayawati

Even as the police find it tough to crack the case of murder of Chief Medical Officer (Family Welfare) B.P. Singh, 24 days after he was gunned down here, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has laid out measures to ensure better implementation of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Financial irregularities, disputes among officers and groupism in the Family Welfare Department were said to be the reasons for the murder of Dr. B.P. Singh on April 2, and of another Chief Medical Officer V.K. Arya in October 2010. “Amendments to the system are needed,” Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said on Tuesday, briefing journalists on the measures and the progress in the investigation.

The executive committee of the NRHM will now be headed by the Chief Secretary, and finance and audit officers will be posted in the districts. Rules will be framed for enforcing financial accountability. And government agencies will conduct internal and external audit of funds allotted and utilised for the schemes. “The scope of audit will be defined,” Mr. Singh said.

The police have drawn a blank in the investigation so far. While Mr. Singh maintained that a detailed investigation was under way, and a breakthrough would be made soon, the needle of suspicion, according to the government, pointed to Deputy CMO (Family Welfare) Y.S. Sachan, who is in jail on the charge of financial bungling.

Dr. Sachan deputised as CMO after Arya's murder. While inspecting community health and primary health centres Arya had found anomalies in the expenditure for the NRHM schemes, Mr. Singh said. Dr. Sachan had cleared Rs.3.49 crore in payments within two months of his assuming charge as acting CMO after Arya's murder.

“These irregularities were related to payment through fake bills for the use of publicity vehicles, manpower, drugs, equipment, diesel for generators and money to the beneficiaries of the Janni Suraksha Yojana,” Mr. Singh said.

Dr. Sachan's property, including a piece of land he bought recently, was being investigated. B.P. Singh too had inspected health centres and detected irregularities. Some documents were seized from B.P. Singh's house, and the police were investigating whether the payment of pending bills for Rs.67 lakh could be linked to his murder. “Doubts have been created about Dr. Sachan's role,” Mr. Singh.

Mr. Singh said the investigation pointed to the possibility of the two murders being executed by a single person. Some gangs based in Purvanchal (eastern Uttar Pradesh) were being interrogated by the police, and the accused would be arrested soon.



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