ATSUM claims AIBP funds misappropriated in hill districts

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IMPHAL, April 22: Funds misappropriation in around 165 Minor Irrigation projects centrally sponsored under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) for 2009 to 2013 in the far flung areas of the hill districts of the State have been found, claimed the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur.

A team of ATSUM led by its education secretary Lovjoy shimara and finance secretary Andria visited Khoupum valley with a team of Imphal based media persons on last Thursday.

The team had inspected sites in Longkhoi area and Taorempung paddy fields of Khoupum, Tamenglong District where the projects are said to be fully implemented, and found no visible construction in connection with the implementation of any projects at the Taorempung paddy fields.

Lovejoy said we have to send a full detailed report of the AIBP implementation to the Union Ministry of Water Resource very soon, for which the team is conducting the tour.

According to the concerned villagers of Khoupum Valley, the team has found that 80 percent of the works has been left incomplete, although the Minor Irrigation department has already recorded all the works to be completely implemented on paper, he added.

Lovejoy said ATSUM has now decided to visit all the hill districts of the State to check the ground reality of the projects.

We will not remain silent on the issue and demand a proper investigation from the concerned authorities, once we send the survey report and documentations along with video clips we have taken at the sites, he said continuing further that we will further approach the CBI anti corruption cell to look into the matter.

He also said that ATSUM has been receiving various complaints of gross misappropriation and misuse of funds in the hill districts since the past many months.

He continued in this regard ATSUM had submitted a representation to the principal secretary of MI to take up necessary action against the unimplemented works.

The failure of AIBP implementation should not be blamed to the contractors of minister concerned, but the monitoring engineer of the department should be held full responsible for the success of the projects, he added.

The failure of the projects has proved beyond doubt that the people of the hills are not getting any benefit from the AIBP projects for which crores of rupees are sanctioned, he claimed.

Lovejoy said that for the Taorempung field project an estimated cost of project was Rs 30 lakhs was sanctioned for construction of a drainage running in the middle of the paddy fields, but unfortunately no construction is visible at the site.

Above all these, 99 new works are presently ongoing in the hills, he added.

ATSUM will continue to tour all sites of AIBP projects including both in the hills and the valley, he said.

Taorempung ex-village authority B Lantonglung said at we came to know that the Minor Irrigation had taken up projects at Loukakthok only today.

Although many developmental works are taken up in the hills, no visible constructions are seen, he said and added we have appealed for construction of a dam in our field but it has not been done till date.

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