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Itanagar Municipal Council (IMC) refutes ex-councillor’s allegation on fund misuse

Our Correspondent

Itanagar, July 16: Couple of days after former councillor of Ward No 18 Gora Lotak demanded for a SIT probe into alleged mismanagement of fund meant for the construction of individual household latrines (IHHLs) under Swachh Bharat Mission in the twin capital city of Itanagar & Naharlagun, the Itanagar Municipal Council (IMC) has refuted the ex-Councillor’s allegation terming it as “baseless”, claiming that the funds received had been utilized aptly.

Reacting to Lotak’s allegation that IMC had received Rs 267.24 crore in the year 2015-16 for IHHL component and misused the fund without physical achievement on the ground, the IMC clarified that it had received a sum of Rs 267.24 lakh only as total funding under SBM components out of which Rs 37.87 lakh was for IHHL component and the rest amount was for other components like, capacity building, community toilet, solid waste management and for public awareness. All the components have been executed as per the SBM guidelines and on prior approval from the Empowered Standing Committee of IMC.

Further rejecting the former Councillor’s claim that there were 20,000 beneficiaries under IHHL, it said: the actual beneficiaries identified by IMC for Itanagar and Naharlagun towns are only 789 for consideration under first phase.

Post construction of IHHL by the beneficiaries, the IMC has geo-tagged all the toilet locations and as per the guidelines all the completed toilets had been uploaded in the SBM portal for necessary verification and approval online for releasing the payment electronically into individual beneficiaries account in two installments.

As of now, out of 789, a total of 423 beneficiaries toilets have been approved online and their payment shall be made shortly by the IMC. The verification of rest beneficiaries was delayed due to mismatch in documents like non-seeding of Aadhar with bank account, wrong telephone number or death cases.

Further, reacting to the former Councillor’s allegation that the utilisation certificates (UC) of IHHL along with other components have been submitted without actual work done, the IMC said, “In this regard, it is clarified that the UC and photographs of all the SBM components being concomitance have been forwarded to Mission Director for obtaining subsequent installment from the Ministry. As such the allegation levelled against IMC by Gora Lotak being one of the former guardians of the IMC is baseless.”