LIU roped in to prevent graft in Naxal-hit Sonbhadra

Embezzlement of Rs 14.6 crore anti-Naxal fund saved

A timely report by the local intelligence unit (LIU) of Sonbhadra district has prevented embezzlement of Rs 14.60 crore from the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) under the Centre's Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF), meant to counter Naxalism by providing infrastructure in affected areas in a short time.

This is the first time in the state when LIU was roped in to conduct a discreet physical inspection of development projects.

For the fiscal 2012-13, a proposal under IAP for Rs 20.74 crore for Sonbhadra was submitted by the district administration to the government in September 2012. After scrutiny, Rs 15.39 crore was sanctioned.

Another proposal of Rs 28.26 crore for 78 works was submitted in December 2012. However, the Planning Department returned it, asking for the recommendations of elected panchayat representatives and the local MP, along with a certificate from the three-member IAP committee, comprising the District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police and the District Forest Officer, so that there would be no duplication of projects. The district administration was also asked to scale down the proposal to Rs 14.60 crore

When a revised a proposal was prepared, the then Superintendent of Police Subhash Chandra Dubey refused to sign it.

"It happened as I got inputs that most of the projects which were taken up in IAP already existed. I asked the LIU to conduct a confidential physical inspection. In the LIU report, it was clear that there was rampant duplication of projects. I refused to sign the proposal," said Dubey.

"I had got the information that it was a well planned move to siphon funds. This trend existed in Sonbhadra earlier also," Dubey remarked.

Anand Mishra, Director, Planning Department, who looks after IAP, said the government had also received "complaints about duplication of projects from local MLAs and others".

"Since duplication of projects is simple forgery, we sent the letters of complaint to the district administration for their reply, but no reply has been received", said Mishra.

He said that Rs 14.60 crore for IAP in Sonbhadra is still lying unutilised with the government. "No fresh proposal has been received; the money will be released only after getting a proposal," Mishra said.

The IAP scheme is applicable in three districts of UP, namely Sonbhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur. Under this, a grant of Rs 30 crore is annually given to these districts for development projects in Naxal-infested areas. A three-member IAP committee, headed by the DM and comprising the SP and DFO, is responsible for execution and monitoring of IAP schemes.

In 2010-11, a CAG report had pointed out several irregularities in most of the projects under IAP in Sonbhadra.

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