The villagers of Bhasanichar Part I and II under Dhubri Revenue Circle of the district have lodged a written complaint to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Dhubri, Anant Lal Gyani, in which the villagers have alleged “misappropriation of relief funds”.
In their letter they have mentioned that the officials of the concerned Circle Office with the help of brokers who were directly engaged for preparation of beneficiary lists and distribution of funds under the ‘Rehabilitation Grant for the Storm Affected Families Occurred on 03/05/2017 (2nd Phase Fully Damaged)’ had “pocketed the money”.
The villagers demanded that a high-level inquiry should be conducted into the entire “pocketing of Government funds” trend which has caught up and the guilty should be punished. Omar Uddin Sk, a resident of 182 No Brahmaputra River Char Village under Dhubri circle, had filed a petition under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, seeking the beneficiary lists and amounts allotted as compensation to the villagers affected by storms and floods from the year 2013-18.
The Dhubri Circle Office has, in its reply to the petition, provided the lists of beneficiaries of families affected by storm which occurred on 03/05/2017 (2nd Phase fully damaged was paid at Rs 95,100/- for each family) while families affected by floods in August 2017 (2nd phase partly damaged for hut at Rs 4,100/- for each family and list of flood affected on August 2017 (1st phase fully damaged at Rs 95,100/- for each family).
Omar Uddin Sk told Northeast Now that he was “shocked” while taking a look at the beneficiary list as it was observed that in the list of storm-affected families, Sl No 8, 9,11,17,15 and 13 are the members of the same family and they are the permanent residents of 182 No Brahmaputra River NC and none of them have ever resided in Bhasani Char Part I and II, respectively! But, their names were included in the beneficiary list of Bhasani Char Village which goes to prove the “discrepancies in the list and large-scale anomalies in the distribution of relief funds”.
The discrepancies do not stop at that! The list shows houses over a particular stretch of land which, in reality, has no settlements! Even when it comes to distribution of relief and funds to the flood-affected people in the said circle, “large-scale discrepancies” have come to the fore.
In the list of flood-affected families – affected by floods in July 2017 (First Phase Fully damaged and compensation was paid at Rs 95,100/- for each families), but it has been observed that six members from the same family has got the benefit through the scheme whereas the scheme clearly mentions that benefits should be provided to the affected families only and not to the individuals.
The flood list revealed that Sl No 1, 3, 7, 9,14, 15 and 17 are the members of a single family and all of them have shown their address as inhabitants of Bhasanichar Part I and II but in reality they are all residents of 182 Brahmaputra NC Village under the said revenue circle!
Amazingly, the beneficiary list also showed that in Sl No 17, the name of one beneficiary identified as Jumba Khatun appeared and she also withdrew her money, but the fact remains that Jumba died nine years back, stated Omar Uddin in his complaint.
The Dhubri DC has said that he will conduct an inquiry into the whole matter of “mess-up of Government funds” and large-scale irregularities in distribution of relief materials which, in reality, do not reach the real beneficiaries and end up in the pockets of “corrupt Government officials”.