After a lull of few months, the Community and Rural Development Block of Demdema is once again back in the limelight after a resident of Chibinang complained against the Block Development Officer for further bifurcation of the already numerously divided Village Employment Councils (VECs) into new ones.
While there were supposed to be only four VECs under the village of Moulakandi in Chibinang, the current bifurcation increases the number to nine.
In a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills Mozidur Rehman said that as per a 2017 order by the Meghalaya Rural Employment Society (MRES), the original VEC had been broken into four parts namely – Lower, South, North Moulakandi and Pakirpara.
Rehman alleged that the continual breaking up of the VEC has allowed for corruption to seep deep into rural employment guarantee scheme (MGNREGS) projects.
“He has divided these VECs into two each, comprising only around 70-80 job card holders, except the part four VEC, without following proper guidelines. He made these on a selection basis and there were no elections,” alleged Rehman.
Rehman questioned the benefit of creating such small VECs and alleged that the motive could be getting large amounts of money from the VEC functionaries in question.
“The reason is best known to the BDO. He has even approved VEC functionaries who don’t even know how to read or write, which is totally against the guidelines,” he asserted.
Two of the VECs created by the BDO, as per the complainant, were dissolved under an official order but continue to operate.
“He did not stop there and created another two VECs arbitrarily without the knowledge of the card holders. Now there are a total of nine VECS for 1m100 job card holders,” he added.
Rehman further said that most often the BDO and office functionaries are absent, leading to problems, while adding that the BDO had been charged for corruption but no action had been taken against him as yet.
“He even has to pay Rs 22,000 as a fine by the Meghalaya Information Commission for providing information late but there has been no improvement,” he alleged.
Rehman has now sought action against the BDO, PR Sangma, so that all issues raised by the people of the area are addressed.