The Khasi Students Union (KSU) in West Jaiñtia Hills has alleged that money ostensibly spent on a tea plantation project of the Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) has been frittered away through fraud.
The Khanduli-Umshangiar and Lapangap units of the KSU today informed the media that the project at Moorantung, Mawkyntien and Riatsiatmuid, amounting to 15 hectares, has been a total waste as the land remains barren and unused. The project was sanctioned in 2006 and budgeted at Rs 2.69 crore until 2014.
Replying to a Right to Information (RTI) request, the JHADC said that Rs 1.54 crore had been utilised out of the Rs 2.69 crore.
But, according to the pressure group, the JHADC did not furnish other information, namely whether the soil is fit for the cultivation of tea.
The KSU also, it claimed, discovered that there are no workers employed on the plantation, yet there are records of thousands of thumb impressions of daily wage workers who are not people from around the region.
Twice the KSU has written to the JHADC chief and to the officer in charge of the department which oversees the project but it has yet to get a response.
“These plantations are barren with no benefits to the local people. These plantations are also located on the border with Assam and the JHADC should ensure that these plantations thrive and development flourish so that the boundary is also secured,” the KSU said.