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Ruckus in KHADC over 36 crore ‘scam’

Mylliem MDC seeks CBI probe into alleged misappropriation of fund meant for road project

FROM A REPORTER

SHILLONG, Feb 21: A heated argument ensued on the second day of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) session between former CEM H S Shylla and present CEM P N Syiem during the zero hour motion moved by Mylliem MDC T S Thangkhiew on the alleged misappropriation of Rs 36 crore meant for the construction of Wahkaji-Mawthabah road project.

The majority of the members of the house on Tuesday demanded the Executive Committee (EC) to seek CBI inquiry into the alleged misappropriation of Rs 36 crore meant for the construction of Wahkaji-Mawthabah road project during the time when S H Shylla was the CEM.

An argument ensued when Shylla pointed out that he was the one who removed corruption for the Council and was interrupted by the CEM P N Syiem who had asked the Chairman to move on for the clarification by the EC on the alleged misappropriation of Rs 36 crore.

Reacting to the CEM, Shylla in an outburst said “You have charged me with corruption.”

In which invoked a response from the CEM who banged his table and moved towards Shylla.

Shylla in turn said “You have come towards me why? Do you intend to have a fist fight?”

However, the commotion inside the house subsided after the CEM stood up to give his reply.

“I had visited Delhi seeking fund for construction of road from Nongstoin to Wahkaji and not Wahkaji to Mawthabah but at that time when Shylla was CEM if he had a chance to construct double lane also he would give till Mawthabah,” Syiem said.

He added, “Don’t try to be clean (Shylla) what is the intention to avoid Para 7 of the Sixth Schedule and District Fund rules 1952, and who had drafted the memorandum we have to invite a CBI inquiry to find out who is involved in the draft and opening a joint account.”

Informing that the inquiry report will be placed on third day of the KHADC session, Syiem said, “I will place it tomorrow (Wednesday) and if I’m proven clean then I will file a defamation case.”

He also informed that a resolution will also be moved on the third day of the session to deliberate on Fincial and MoU issue.

Earlier, Shylla said, “I agree to seek a CBI inquiry but the CBI will not want to quiz me on this issue because when I was the CEM they had investigated me in 2007, on the allegations of misappropriations of funds and had given me a clean chit.”

“People had alleged that the Rs. 20 crores sanctioned by UCIL for the road did not include  in the Council budget but instead diverted to the persol account of the CEM H S Shylla,” he said adding that he had shown the CBI the MoU which is clearly written there that in clause 8 which states that an initial amount of Rs. 5 crores will be deposited immediately on signing of the MoU in the UDI bank which will be operated jointly by the representatives of the KHADC and UCIL for the construction of road and bridges and will be released in phased manner on the recommendation of the aforesaid committee.

He said not Rs. 36 crores but Rs. 19. 88 crores during the year 2006 for KHADC were sanctioned by UCIL, however only 2 percent supervision fees will enter into the budget.

“When my tenure as CEM was over in 2007, Rs 5 crores was still there and this is why I support the CBI inquiry because after me seven other CEM took office which include CB Syiem, Dr C Lyngdoh, M Nongrem, P N Syiem, Ardent M Basiawmoit, Adelbert Nongum and again P N Syiem who are yet to be investigated by CBI,” he said adding Rs. 31 crores were surfaced when I was no longer the CEM,” he said.

Justifying his decision to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UCIL when he was the CEM, Shylla recalled, “The road to Wahkaji to Mawthabah is 20 Km and most of the people are facing plenty of problems especially during times of emergency and they had been demanding construction of the road and it was when the then governor MM Jacob had invited the EC members of KHADC and questioned on the non-construction of the road as the people are facing grievances as they have to travel 20 Km by foot and the governor said respective whether mining of Uranium will be allowed or not by the state construct the road.”

He informed that the MoU was signed based on this.

“That the construction of road and bridges under this MoU shall start forthwith respective of whether the proposed Uranium mining project in approved or not by the state government,” Shylla quoted the MoU.

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Ankur Kalita