Berhampur: Close on the heels of a pension fraud, alleged irregularities in allotment of Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) benefits have come to the fore in Ganjam district following which district administration has cancelled 13 work orders in Kukudakhandi block.
The special IAY was allotted in 2014-15 to people whose houses had been damaged in cyclone Phailin which hit the district on October 12, 2013.
The work orders to construct houses at Rohigaon village were cancelled as the district administration found in an inquiry that 13 of 37 beneficiaries in the panchayat were ineligible to get the benefits.
"We have ordered cancellation of the work orders of all ineligible beneficiaries," Ganjam district Collector Prem Chandra Chaudhary said.
The administration has also asked the block development officer (BDO) to get the beneficiaries to return the first instalment paid to them. Each beneficiary was paid Rs 15,000 as the first instalment and was to receive subsequent instalments of Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,000 each.
"We will carry out the administration's order and issue a notice on cancellation of the work orders. The beneficiaries will be asked to return the amount paid to them," BDO Sashank Das said. After several villagers complained that many of the beneficiaries of the special IAY were not eligible for the scheme, a three-member official team from the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) conducted an inquiry last month at Rohingaon.
"The administration will take action against the concerned officers who are found guilty of selection of the ineligible beneficiaries," Ashish Thakare, Project Director of DRDA, said.
"The district administration has asked the BDO to allot work orders to eligible beneficiaries and to submit the action-taken report in three days," a senior district official said.
The administration has also sought an explanation from the BDO about the reasons for lapses in selection of the beneficiaries, he said.
The irregularities in the implementation of the special IAY came to light soon after a pension fraud in the village in which at least six dead persons were disbursed pensions for many months.
The BDO lodged an FIR with the police last Wednesday against the Gram Rojagar Sevak who distributed the pension.
The accused is on the run, police said.