The chairperson of Dibrugarh Municipal Board (DMB) has been accused of corruption.

Urban development department secretary HD Sarma has summoned DMB chairperson Soma Chakraborty to appear before him on Nov 4 over several charges of illegal activities including financial irregularities.

Sarma said different sources had alleged anomalies in the functioning of DMB.

The secretary in his letter said the response received from Chakraborty with regard to the charges mentioned by the director of Muncipal Administration, Assam and the deputy commissioner, Dibrugarh its inquiry report, was not satisfactory.

She has been asked to explain why section 298 of the Assam Municipal Act, 1956 (power to dissolve the board) should not be imposed on the Dibrugarh Municipal Board.

The list of charges include improper maintenance of main cash book and log books for office vehicles, improper maintenance of the records of the urban local body’s assets, irregularities in leasing out municipal lands, conduction of tendering process for allotment of market, parking, hoardings etc without taking board’s resolution and financial irregularities.

The DMB chairperson has however denied the allegations and said that she will appear before the secretary on Monday to respond to the allegations.

Since her appointment as chairperson of the BJP-controlled Dibrugarh Municipal Board on April 24, 2017, Chakraborty has been facing rebellion from the ward commissioners of her own party.

Sources said chairperson Soma Chakraborty has been running the DMB in an autocratic manner and involved in corruption and malpractice.

On October 31, 2018, ten BJP ward commissioners of the 22-member Dibrugarh Muncipal Board had moved a no-confidence motion against Chakraborty.

The no-trust motion was supported by the five Congress ward commissioners and the sole Independent member.

Though Chakraborty was not present during the floor test, the rebel ward commissioners took a resolution removing her from the post of chairperson with immediate effect.

Chakraborty who termed her removal as arbitrary and illegal filed a writ petition (WP (C) 7684/2018) at Gauhati High Court challenging her removal from the post of chairperson.

She got a breather from the Gauhati High Court as it directed the rebel members not to proceed with the resolution to axe her from the chairperson’s post.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com