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DVAC probe unveils BDOs’ money swindling
Two corruption cases being investigated by sleuths from DVAC in Erode and Tirupur showed how some of the block development officers (BDOs) are deeply involved in corruption while implementing various schemes and projects meant for rural development.
In a case registered last week, Tirupur DVAC team found that a man who was working as Commissioner-cum-BDO of Avinashi panchayat union in Erode from March 2016 to February 2018 had allegedly inflated more than Rs 1 lakh in the cost of a photocopying machine and caused loss to the government.
The officer, K Murugesan, conspired with one Saravanan of Salem, who is into the sale of photocopier machines, and in violation of the government order and tender transparency, acted in order to obtain wrongful gain for themselves. The officer ignored the price of machinery prevailing in the market then and failed to get a proper invoice from the seller.
Saravanan had submitted his quotation with an inflated rate and to get it selected, purposively submitted two other fabricated quotations in the name of non-existing companies. Saravanan had purchased the machine for Rs 1.31 lakh from Coimbatore and installed the same at the office of Murugesan at a rate of 2.35 lakh, thus causing a wrongful loss of Rs 1.03 lakh to the government, the DVAC said in the FIR. The officer received a pecuniary benefit from the deal, the DVAC noted.
In another case, Anthiyur union (Tirupur) BDO, Thomas Rajan, was found hand in glove with local panchayat president C Muthunathan and panchayat secretary S Kesavan in sanctioning subsidy for undeserving people under India Awaas Yojana — scheme to construct houses for BPL people — during 2014-15.
The scheme is implemented through the district rural development agencies and houses are constructed by beneficiaries themselves.
The trio was responsible for selecting eligible beneficiaries under the scheme. During the probe, the DVAC investigators found that at least two beneficiaries who received Rs 1.2 lakh each under the scheme had already benefitted under the CM’s solar-powered greenhouse scheme. Both the beneficiaries, who were also listed as accused by the DVAC sleuths, had received a subsidy for constructing a house for the second time. All the five had cheated the government causing a loss of rupees in lakhs, the DVAC said.
All the accused are booked under the prevention of corruption act and other relevant sections of IPC.