By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 21: Massive corruption in WPT & BC Department has led a section of tribal leaders to lodge complaints before Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the Chief Secretary yesterday.
According to sources, a number of schemes meant for the development of ST(P) are set not to see light of the day in this fiscal because of a section of corrupt officials in the WPT & BC Department. The tribal leaders have even med an official, Diganta Talukdar, as the kingpin of all corruption in the department.
A number of tribal leaders allege that a section of officials in the department keeps files stagnt on tables on one of the other pretexts. “When asked about a file without making undue payments, such officials have a common reply, it has been kept pending following instruction from the minister or the commissioner concerned. However, when money is paid such files gain their speed,” a section of tribal leaders said, and added that they had already lodged a compliant with the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary, the Commissioner-Secretary of WPT & DC and the CM Vigilance so as to make them crystal clear that if they really wanted development of ST(P) living in the state, they should act tough against the corrupt WPT&BC officials.
“To get schemes cleared, WPT&BC Department should send the files to the respective departments. However, the department keeps the files with them. If the schemes are approved now, it is sure that the schemes will remain stillborn because the current fiscal has only two months to go,” they said.
The Sentinel reported recently that there are such allegations against an official of the WPT&BC Department, holding the all-important post of fincial adviser. He, according to allegations, has a lot in his bag of tricks, all meant for minting money. “If the commission at the going rate, i.e. five per cent, is not paid, the file concerned never moves. If anybody asks him about such files, he has a whole of lot of ready-made replies – I don’t know, I couldn’t locate the file etc. If the commission is paid at the going rate, such files appear all of a sudden and start their moving,” sources alleged.
“Even the files of the development councils have to face such treatment. Thus funds meant for the development of various backward communities start their misutilization right at WPT&BC even before they are released,” sources said, and alleged that the fincial adviser concerned even took to misbehave people who dare to protest his style of work.
The situation in the WPT&BC has come to such a pass that an aggrieved public, Sarat Singh Deori, had to formally moved Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi with a missive seeking the removal of the ‘murky’ official from the post. Copies of the missive have also been submitted to ministers Basanta Das; Bismita Gogoi; Sumitra Patir; the Chief Secretary, Assam; the Commissioner and Secretary, Fince; the Commissioner and Secretary, WPT & BC; the Secretary, Fince; and the Commissioner and Secretary, CM Vigilance.