Village sarpanchs in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh have allegedly misappropriated funds to the tune of Rs8 crore allocated under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), officials sources said today.
Sources said sarpanchs and secretaries of 121 gram panchayats have connived to swindle the amount and that the district collector, Raghuraj M Rajan, has initiated recovery proceedings against these village chiefs.
There are a total of 459 gram panchayats in the district.
Of the total Rs8 crore fund misappropriation, 39 gram panchayats of Tikamgarh Janpad accounted for Rs6.47 crore, 23 gram panchayats of Baldevgarh for Rs50 lakh and gram panchayats of Prithvipur for Rs10 lakh.
Elected representatives of the panchayats allegedly misappropriated funds from the MGNREGS scheme, right from its inception in February 2006 when the scheme was launched and continued till it was unearthed in June 2009, sources said.
Meanwhile, several of those involved in the scam no longer represent these villages as many of them had lost in the fresh elections held in 2010.
The MGNREGS scheme, launched under the MGNREG Act 2005, provides enhancement of livelihood security, giving at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household, whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Panchayats at districts, intermediate and village levels will be the principal authorities for planning and implementation of the scheme.