Former Chief Executive Member of the GHADC, Benedic Marak, has been accused of overseeing corruption to the tune of several crores of rupees while he was in charge of the district council.
The accusations were levelled by Rimjen Ch Sangma, chairman of the Pedaldoba regional unit of the Garoland State Movement Committee.
Sangma said he had filed a Right to Information (RTI) request and “collected more evidence of corruption in the Civil Works Department” of the GHADC, many of whose projects are ‘ghost projects’, he claimed.
First in the list is a sanction in 2018-19 of Rs 1 crore for two cement bridges in Katongre (built like a hanging footbridge) and Napakgre (where work has stopped).
In 2019-20, a sanction of more than Rs 51.74 lakh for 31 ring wells and 10 other projects was made but no work “has been seen in the area from these schemes,” Sangma said.
Also in 2019-20, Rs 1.25 crore was sanctioned for various projects, of which Rs 19.4 lakh was for the construction of Ganarugre Community Hall, work on which has yet to begin.
Another Rs 19.4 lakh in 2019-20 was allotted for the construction of a timber bridge to connect Banglapara to Noyapara. This, Sangma said, is a ghost project as the money has been withdrawn but no work carried out. A further Rs 30.07 lakh for another bridge at Rabhagre has yet to see any work begin.
He claimed that another Rs 13 lakh for a bridge over the Daljong stream from Gondagre to Dabangre has been siphoned off.
“I strongly condemn Benedic Marak regarding the corruption in his constituency, which is destroying the achievements of the region,” Sangma said. “Corruption is a disease like cancer. If not detected at that time, it can spread like fire in a jungle. An independent inquiry must be conducted as early as possible.”