Mandsaur: Lokayukta acts against financial irregularities, blatant violation of rules

Districh Horticulture Dept deputy director booked after farmer lodge complaint against him.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, October 20, 2022, 10:03 PM IST
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Mandsaur(Madhya Pradesh): On getting a complaint about financial irregularities and blatant violation of rules in the district between the financial year 2017 and 2019, the Lokayukta Police Establishment Office, Ujjain has booked Manish Chauhan, deputy director of the District Horticulture Department, Mandsaur along with the officials from Malhargarh, Sitamau, Garoth, Bhanpura block of the district.

According to information, one Mukesh Patidar, a resident of Daloda village in Mandsaur district has lodged a complaint with Ujjain Lokayukta.

Patidar had said in the complaint that massive irregularities have been committed in the schemes of the Horticulture Department, Integrated Horticulture Mission, Mechanisation, Prime Minister’s Irrigation, National Agriculture Development and National Medicines Mission. Investigation revealed that maximum amount has been sanctioned in Mandsaur district.

In the year 2017-18 and 18-19, Rs 3,09,40,000 were sanctioned to the district. In 2018-19, a budget of Rs 2,35,72,000 was approved for horticulture mechanisation.

In component mechanisation, Rs 14.05 lakh was allocated to the district in 2017-18 and Rs 22.76 lakh in 2018-19. As per government norms, this amount is supposed to go to the account of the beneficiary farmers. Deputy director Mandsaur paid the amount directly to the bank account of firms providing equipment to the companies.

In this case, the selection of the beneficiary was also done arbitrarily. Like giving instruments to members of the same family. Apart from this, all the equipment was to be procured from MP State Agro-Industry Development Corporation Limited and a reputed manufacturing company.

Meanwhile, the officers did not do this. They even did not conduct physical verification. Without the approval of the state government, the payment of the farmer's share through RTGS/NFT/Bank Draft has been allowed in the account of the concerned firm. Any amendment in the scheme can be done by the state government only. During the investigation, the managers/operators of the equipment-providing firms have also received 50 per cent cash from the farmers for the price of the prescribed equipment. The receipt was also given to the farmers, which is against the rules.

Instead of selling a power tiller worth Rs 1.5 lakh to the farmers, he sold a rotary tiller worth Rs 60k. Instead of getting the physical verification done by the District Level Technical Committee against the rules, the officials got the physical verification done by the Rural Garden Extension level officers posted at the block level. The companies also took an additional amount during the distribution of the equipment. The companies also selected the beneficiaries themselves and took cash from them and got the amount of the grant in the account of their firm by putting it in the billing department.

Irregularities in payment of pomegranate plants, drip irrigation system

Irregularities were also found in the payment of pomegranate plants and drip irrigation systems. In this, payment was also made to the plant distribution company and drip irrigation plant company.

As per the plan, the departmental officers were to follow the policy of first come, first serve but did not do so. Apart from this, the companies took payment directly from the farmers. Under the scheme, 80 per cent of the plants were to be paid in the second year and 90 per cent in the third year only if the plants were alive. The payment was made along with the distribution of saplings. In the matter, Lokayukta has registered a case against all the accused under sections of cheating, conspiracy and breach of criminal justice.

Lokayukta files case against the officers below:

The then director Horticulture and Farm Forestry MP Bhopal, Satyanand

The then deputy director of horticulture Manish Chauhan

Rural Horticulture Extension Officer and co-incharge senior horticulture development officer development block Malhargarh, Rajesh Jatav

Rural garden extension officer Vanwari Verma

Rural extension horticulture officer Pappulal Patidar

Rural horticulture extension officer and senior horticulture development officer development block Garoth, Rajesh Mayda

Rural horticulture extension officer and senior horticulture development officer Bhanpura, Satyam Mandloi

Rural horticulture extension officer and senior horticulture development officer Mandsaur, Suresh Singh Dhakad

Rural garden extension officer Dinesh Patidar

Suresh Manibhai Patel, the proprietor of Ganesh Trading Company, Jabalpur, Gujarat resident

Chhattisgarh Enterprises Proprietor Suresh Manibhai Patel

JM Enterprises Harinagar Durg Proprietor Mitulbhai, Father Praveen Bhai Patel

ABC Agro Biotech Company Private Limited Director Mihir Pandya

Mangalam Sivadasan, Director of ABC Agro Biotech Company Gujarat {Kriti Industries Ltd. Shivsinh Mehta, Managing Director of Pithampur Dhar)

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