Koraput (Odisha): A total of Rs 1.28 crore worth projects in Maoist-affected Narayanpatna block here has been embezzled, a government audit has found.
"At least 29 officials of various departments including panchayat extension officer and gram panchayat technical assistants had drawn the funds as advance for execution of the projects. But till date not a single utilisation certificate has been submitted at the block office," said a block official.
According to the audit reports submitted recently, the Narayanpatna block received the sum of Rs 1.28 crore during 2011-12 and 2012-13 for execution of development and poverty-alleviation projects.
Block officials concerned had misappropriated the money, it said.
In a majority of cases the funds were not utilized for the sanctioned projects involving construction of village roads, culverts and buildings, the report said.
"Project director of District Rural Development Agency has been asked to inquire into the matter. The officer will probe under which circumstances advance payments of such huge amounts were made to the officials and why utilisation certificates have not been submitted till date," Yamini Sarangi, District Collector, Koraput said.
After the inquiry is complete, appropriate action would be initiated, Sarangi said acknowledging the audit report.
In the meantime all the officials who had drawn advance money have been transferred to other blocks of the district and have been issued show-cause notices, officials said.