Despite tall claims by the MDA government that it is progressing well in the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in the State, an inquiry has been ordered by the Meghalaya Lokayukta into the anomalies in the implementation of JJM in 28 villages of West Garo Hills.
The inquiry was ordered by the State Lokayukta on February 1 based on a complaint by Garo Hills Youth Organisation (GHYO) president Nazmul Hashan.
The Lokayukta which has registered the case has also directed its inquiry wing member John Clitzer Sangma who is also the Sub-Division Police Office, Chokpot, South Garo Hills to conduct a preliminary inquiry on the alleged embezzlement related to JJM under two projects – Augmentation of Nekikona Water Supply Scheme and Construction of Babilgre Water Supply Scheme.
The director of the inquiry will supervise the progress of the inquiry every 15 days and check the case diary.
Sangma has been asked to conduct the preliminary inquiry on the basis of materials, information, and documents collected and also to seek the comments on the allegations made in the complaint from the respondents and competent authorities. He has been asked to submit his inquiry report within April 2.
Hashan, who is also a lawyer, on January 30 filed the complaint with the Meghalaya Lokayukta against Sengrang G .Momin, the Executive Engineer (PHE), North Division, Tura, West Garo Hills and Jagdish Chelani, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills and Chairman of JJM (PHE Department).
According to Hashan, as per the report and record and data of the JJM portal, funds in the name of JJM water supply provided to the households of Askikandi village and 27 other villages were drawn but not a single tap and water pipe has been installed or connected in Askikandi and other villages under the two water supply projects.
After assessing the ground reality and comparing it with the data, report and record of the JJM Portal, Hashan in December 2023 has filed a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills alleging embezzlement of JJM regarding the JJM projects which included Augmentation of Nekikona Combined Water Supply Scheme and Construction of Babilgre Water Supply Scheme in the villages.
Hashan pointed out that in Askikandi village, neither water tap nor pipe is provided. He also alleged that the JJM fund may have been misused by the contractors or authorities or the PHE Department.
According to him, some water tanks in the school were installed but no water supply or connection is provided whereas, it is clearly mentioned in the JJM portal that availability of drinking water through tap connection was mentioned as “yes” and running water in toilets/ urinals mentioned as “yes”.
The PHE department had earlier stated that a clerical error may have been made due to which the JJM portal has reflected these as completed with water being provided to households.
Recently, PHE Minister Marcuise Marak has claimed that out of the 6,51,412 targeted households in Meghalaya, 4,80,039 households are now connected to tap water supply under the JJM scheme.
Stating that the State has achieved 73.69 per cent implementation of JJM, Marak had also said the PHE Department aims for 100 per cent implementation of JJM in the State by March this year.