Morcha barb at Harka on funds a report on Telegraph
Darjeeling, April 12: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today alleged that some projects recommended by Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri with his MLALAD funds had not been finished although completion certificates had been submitted and money released for those.
The party alleged that two of Chhetri's aides were responsible for the irregularities.
Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, said: "On January 27, an order was issued by the district planning section of Darjeeling DM office where 12 projects worth Rs 29.5 lakh were accorded ... for schemes recommended by Harka Bahadur Chhetri. Those were to be executed using MLA funds - Bidhayak Elaka Unnayan Prakalpa."
|Harka Bahadur Chettri|
"Three projects involving construction of a protection wall and footpath above Hari Thapa's house on East Main Road (Rs 3 lakh), a jhora protection (wall) above Bassuripool, Upper Cart Road, Kalimpong, (Rs 2.5 lakh) and a protection wall in front of Puran Chettri's house on East Main Road have not been finished but a completion report has been submitted," Tamang said.
He added that on February 29, another 14 projects costing about Rs 30.5 lakh had been recommended by Chhetri. "A project involving the construction of a protection wall near Renuka Subba's house at School Dara in Kalimpong was shown as complete even without floating tenders. The payment has been made already," said Tamang.
Sources said the project was worth Rs 3 lakh.
"I urge residents of the area... to find out if work has been done. These works were given to two of Chhetri's close aides who used the funds for construction of personal property. The people of Kalimpong have to find them," Tamang said. He said Chhetri had used Rs 19 lakh for personal work when he was with the DGHC and GTA. "We have shown evidence of his corruption on two occasions," said Tamang.
Chhetri denied the charges. "My role as the MLA is to recommend projects to the district planning office. The office distributes work to executing agencies. It is for the BDO office to float tenders and monitor work... I think funds are released only after taking photographs of project. I have no role in choosing contractor..."
Asked about the allegations, he said: "What else do they have to talk about? I will not allow this slandering. I am consulting my legal team and will take him (Tamang) to court on these issues."
The BDO office of Kalimpong#-I is the executing agency of the four projects. BDO Bimalendu Das said : "If there is a complaint lodged with me or the DM, we will inquire."
HB Chhetri gets corruption tag from Morcha again a report on EOI
Darjeeling 12 Apr 2016 The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has once again accused Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri of corruption, maintaining that some of the works sanctioned in Kalimpong from the MLA fund had not been executed at all even though completion reports had been submitted for those projects.
GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said, “After becoming the Kalimpong MLA, Chhetri undertook a number of schemes through the MLA fund. On his recommendation, two project orders were passed on January 27 and February 29 this year. According to the first order, the total cost of 12 schemes was Rs29.50 lakh, while the second order comprised 14 schemes with a total cost of Rs30.50 lakh. From the first order, work has not been done on three projects out of the 12, and from the second, one project out of the 14 has not been started. Tenders have not even been floated for it even though full payment has been made and a completion report submitted.”
According to Tamang, work not undertaken for schemes mentioned in the first order include a protection wall and footpath at East Main Road for which the cost has been shown at Rs3 lakh; jhora (stream) protection at Upper Cart Road for Rs2.50 lakh; and a protection wall at East Main Road at a cost of Rs2.50 lakh. He said the second order includes construction of a protection wall at School Dara for Rs3 lakh, but this project has also not been executed.
“It seems he (Chhetri) has siphoned off the money meant for the schemes. Harka is saying he will work for the benefit of the people if he gets re-elected, but we find him to be a corrupt legislator already,” alleged Tamang. Not long ago too, the GJM leader had accused Chhetri of misusing Rs19 lakh meant for landslide relief work when he was on the board of administrators of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.
“The Kalimpong MLA is alleging there is corruption in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, and if this is true, he should back his claims by producing solid evidence like we have. His party (Jan Andolan Party) has an RTI Cell to look into matters of corruption, and it should start a probe against him,” Tamang said.
Chettri responded by dismissing Tamang’s allegations as unfounded, saying “the Morcha is trying to spoil my image looking at the support I am getting from the people”. He added, “Moreover, the only role I play regarding the MLA fund is make recommendations to the District Planning Section and all work is executed by the Block Development Officer. It is through the BDO that the work completion report is prepared along with photographs. Only then does the bill for the work is released.” The MLA further said, “I will file a defamation case against Tamang after the election as he is making false allegations against me time and again.”
Meantime, Kalimpong Block 1 BDO Bimalendu Das said, “All work in my block has been done as per rules and regulations. After completion of work, the engineer does the verification and the work completion report submitted following which the bills are cleared. If anyone has complaints, they can contact me and I can crosscheck.” (EOIC)