Bhopal: Gross irregularities of around Rs 15 crore has come to fore in construction of muktidhams/smashans (cremation ground) in Guna district. Tightening the noose, district panchayat chief executive officer (in-charge) on Thursday set 72-hour deadline for the concerned authorities to complete the construction of 750 unfinished projects. The district collector also stated that the sub engineers have been instructed to issue completion certificate within 72 hours.

Sums ranging between Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh were sanctioned by Guna district panchayat for construction of muktidhams across 1100 villages in five development blocks. The amount was sanction during 2013-14, however even after years only a few muktidhams have been constructed and as many as 750 such projects remain incomplete or have not even started. Around Rs 15 crores sanctioned for these projects have not been utilised for the desired purpose. Around 400 elected village sarpanch, panchayat secretaries, rozgar sahayaks (employment assistants) and government engineers who had been given the responsibility of undertaking the project have failed give valid explanation for their non-completion of the projects.

In charge CEO Khan, who is also the additional district magistrate of Guna district said that the concerned persons have been given 72 hour to qualitatively complete the unfinished task. On the failure of which, the persons will be booked for misapproating public funds and would subsequently be sent to jail. The officer said that the sarpanch, panchayat secretaries, sub engineers failed to give explanations about the unutilised funds.

“Sums ranging between Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh had been sanctioned by the Guna district panchayat in 2013-14. But in 750 villages, managed by over 400 village panchayat heads, the work had either not started at all, or was incomplete. Some of the work undertaken are of substandard quality and got approved even without quality clearance by the engineers of RES department,” Khan told mediapersons on Friday.

Out of the sanctioned funds, on an average around Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh have been misappropriated in the construction of muktidhams, which remain incomplete on Ground Zero. “A 72-hours deadline has been set for the sub engineers to issue the completion certificate of the cremation grounds in all the 750 villages,” said Guna collector Rajesh Jain while talking to Free Press over phone on Friday.

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