DM suspends co-op secy for KALIA graft


Berhampur: After alleged irregularities in the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme in Singipur Cooperative Society at Dharakota block in Ganjam district, Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange has ordered suspension of the secretary of the cooperative society and lodging of an FIR against the data entry operator Wednesday.

A couple of months back alleged irregularities in KALIA scheme had triggered a political slugfest in Odisha. However, not long after ‘massive lapses’ have again come to the fore.

Around 94 farmers in Jahada panchayat of Ganjam district have alleged that the money meant for them under the scheme has been credited to the bank accounts of data entry operator Basudev Sahoo’s relatives.

After collecting solid proof against data entry operator Basudev Sahoo and the secretary of the cooperative society Kailash Chandra Muni, the villagers had submitted a written complaint with the BDO. The BDO has informed the Collector about the matter.

Farmer Indramani Behera’s name in the KALIA beneficiary list bears an account number which is not his. Surprisingly, another beneficiary, Gopalini Das’s KALIA money was deposited in the same account number to which Behera’s money was credited.

“When we inquired about the money in the bank, we got to know that our account numbers have been changed. When we apprised the cooperative society about it, they did not respond,” alleged a farmer of Singipur village under Dharakote block.

However, the cooperative society, which collected details of KALIA beneficiaries, clarified that a data entry operator was hired on a contractual basis and he allegedly changed the farmers’ account numbers with that of his relatives.

“A boy was hired on a three-month contractual basis by the society. He uploaded bank account numbers of his relatives instead of genuine beneficiaries,” said Kailash Chandra Mallick, secretary of Dhabaleswar cooperative society, Singhipur.

On the other hand, Atasi Kusumkant Behera, branch manager of Indian Overseas Bank, said, “I noticed that KALIA money has been credited to a particular account thrice. I thought there might be some wrong entries but couldn’t disclose it as it was against banking norms.”

Questions are being raised as to who was in charge of monitoring the name registration process. How the administration was not aware of the irregularities earlier?

The farmers have demanded a proper investigation into the matter to know the truth of the matter.



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