A West Singhbhum-based NGO is under scanner for having allegedly misused funds allocated under the Centre's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
Following a directive issued by the West Singhbhum deputy commissioner, Sunil Kumar, an FIR was lodged today with Chaibasa Sadar police station against Sur Savera for allegedly duping state exchequer of Rs 80 lakh.
The NGO was entrusted with jatropha plantations in three blocks of West Singhbhum at a cost of Rs 1.69 crore under the NREGS in 2007-08. Extracts of jatropha seeds is used for alternative fuel.
Though the NGO regularly claimed reimbursements from the district rural development authority by producing false bills, it did little work.
Kumar revealed the names of those accused of misappropriating state funds which include Mansur Alam and Nandu Mahto, two key functionaries of Sur Savera.
The NGO does not have any office at Chaibasa and was entrusted the project in Tonto, Manjhari and Jhinkpani blocks.
"Ever since the project was sanctioned, the administration began to receive complaints from residents as well as from state agencies against the NGO," said the deputy commissioner.
A probe team was set up in June comprising Chaibasa divisional forest officer, West Singhbhum deputy development commissioner and block development officers of the three blocks.
The team found that the NGO had done little plantation work in the three blocks and whatever had been done was done in bits and pieces.
"It was found out by the probe committee that the NGO had embezzled the state of Rs 80 lakh. Moreover, while carrying out the enquiry, the team tried to contact the office-bearers of the NGO, but no one could be contacted anywhere," he said.
Unable to trace the staff, Kumar decided to lodge an FIR against the NGO for cheating the government.
Sur Savera staff could not be contacted for their reactions.
June 29, 2009 / Telegraph