CBI begins probe into MGNREGA scam in Orissa

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 21:53

Bhubaneswar: Separate CBI teams from
New Delhi arrived in Orissa on Tuesday and began probing into the
alleged large-scale corruption in implementation of the rural
job scheme under MGNREGA, official sources said on Tuesday.

The officials of the premier investigating agency have
already reached the districts of Rayagada, Kalahandi and
Koraput, an official said adding they have met district level
officials before verifying documents relating to MGNREGA.

"The state government has appointed nodal officers in
six different districts to cooperate the CBI teams in the
investigation," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

A CBI team arrived here this morning. "We have been
helping them in beginning probe," said Rayagada district
collector NB Jawle.

The state government had already provided logistic
support like police officers, nodal officers in each probe
districts and vehicles to the CBI teams as desired by the
investigating agency, said chief secretary BK Patnaik.

The CBI on May 12 was directed by the Supreme Court to
probe into the alleged corruption in the rural job scheme. The
court gave this direction while disposing a PIL filed by a
Delhi-based NGO which alleged that about Rs 500 crore scam in
implementation of MGNREGA in the state.

The CBI teams comprised officials of the investigating
agency`s state branch, Orissa police and some state government
officials. The teams, on the first phase, would probe alleged
corruption in Kalahandi, Koraput and Rayagada districts, part
of the poverty stricken KBK region, officials said.

The team was scheduled to take up cases in three other
districts in the second phase. The Centre for Environment and
Food Security (CEFS), the NGO, had alleged large-scale
corruption in 100 villages of the six districts in the state.

Besides meeting block level officials and verifying
documents there, the CBI team is likely to directly interact
with the beneficiaries, they said.

The CBI has been directed to submit its preliminary
investigation within six months.

The investigating agency was directed to take into
consideration of three documents - survey report of CEFS, the
report of CAG and findings of Hyderabad based NIRD (national
institute of rural development).

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 21:53

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