Todgarh Social Audit endorses district administration findings of Rs 56 lakh embezzlement
Abhiyan demands governmental enquiry of entire block
Jaipur, January 7, 2011: The social audit of development works under MGNREGA in Todgarh panchayat, Ajmer district asserted and endorsed the Rs 56 lakh embezzlement found by the district administration in a recent enquiry, whose findings were read out at the social audit gram sabha yesterday. It may be recalled that only recently, panchayat resident Bikam Chand Jain who was seeking information on MGNREGA and other panchayat works in Todgarh had his legs cut off by relatives of the ex-sarpanch and is currently undergoing treatment in Mumbai. Significantly, corruption to the tune of Rs 1.3 crore was also uncovered by a special audit of MGNREGA works last year in neighbouring panchayat Malaton ki Vair.
“The scale of fraud being unearthed in these two neighbouring panchayats and the violent attack on information seekers indicates there is rampant corruption in this area. We demand that an enquiry of the entire block be done,” said Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS).
Chairperson of the social audit committee Tej Singh pointed out that while water conservation works had been sanctioned for 5 years, only Rs 24 lakh for one year had been shown as expenditure by the panchayat, and even here, the social audit team found that only Rs 1 lakh of work had been actually done. Irregularities in muster rolls, fake names, works done in places other than where sanctioned were also uncovered by the social audit team.
Tej Singh also informed those present that there was a discrepancy in the amount of expenditure shown on the wall painting and the actual records. While only an amount of Rs 60.19 lakh had been shown on the walls, the actual expenditure in 2009-10 stood at Rs 1.95 crore.
However, the Todgarh social audit is also significant as it brought out the weaknesses of the social process done by the social audit committee without any technical support or ‘outside’ intervention ever since the central government amended the social audit clause 13b in theMGNREG Act.
When the chairperson of the social audit committee Tej Singh got up to read the findings of the social audit team initially, the Additional CEO, Zila Parishad Ajmer signaled to the additional tehsildar to read out the findings of the district administration’s report instead and take note of any objections. Thereafter, the entire proceedings was conducted by the government officers rather than the social audit team members.
The social audit gram sabha was attended by members of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, SR Abhiyan and 14 IAS trainees from the IAS Academy, Mussoorie as observers.
Mukesh Goswami /Sowmya Sivakumar
(on behalf of the Abhiyan)
News articles about the Todgarh Social Audit: