|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Apr 21: In yet another instance of misappropriation of funds in the Rural Development and Panchati Raj Department, a former Assistant Commissioner development (ACD) Reasi, purchased 33 lacs interlocking tiles in a period of 10 months that too on exorbitant rate. Moreover the purchase of tiles from outside the district took huge toll on state exchequer in the form carriage charges paid by the department.
According to local tile manufacturing unit owner, Naman Bakhi for ACD M Y Malik, who had been booked by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for misappropriation of funds, had purchased over 30 lacs interlock tiles from a manufacturing unit situated in Khour.
"As per RTI reply since March 2017 to February 2018, around 33 lacs interlocking tiles worth over Rs 5 cores, of various specifications 60 mm to 80 mm color and plain tiles purchased by ACD including 3.14 lacs from Lal Cement Tiles Jammu while rest of tiles (around 30 lacs)were purchased from Trikuta Tiles Akhnoor Road Jammu", he said.
"I started my own unit in Reasi district in 2016, till date I have not received order for a single tile despite being clear guide lines from industry department giving preference to local units", said Naman and added that he met Advisor Khurshid Ganai in public darbar who directed Deputy Commissioner, Reasi to look into the matter. "But the nexus of corrupt officers of RDD and SICOP high jacked Advisor's instructions", he said and added that according RTI reply from SICOP the ex-ACD purchased over 30 lacs from same manufacturer.
According to aggrieved manufacturer who is finding difficult to repay loan borrowed bank in absence of supply orders, the nexus even bypass district manager of SICOP. "The ACD directly issued orders to manufacturer, who further managed to fulfil paper works from SICOP", he alleged and added that he has filed a complaint with ACB and Governor's Grievance Cell into matter long back, but unfortunately both the agencies are trying to shield the corrupt officers.
"Following my complaint, owner of Trikuta Tiles accompanied several other manufacturers called me for meeting at Jammu, assuring supply orders for tiles from the then ACD Reasi, when i reached at decided place they forced to sign an affidavit for withdrawing complaint filed against ACD and others", he said and added that the ACD threatened him of dire consequences.
"'We are already facing FIRs, no matter if one or two more are added in our profile', the ACD told threatening me", Naman added.