By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 16: As is the case with every other department in the state, the Department of Fishery too has a number of projects and schemes med as Chief Minister's schemes like CM's Matshyagandha Asoni for Scheduled Caste, CM's Swaniyojan Scheme for SC etc. Such schemes, as often as not, look and sound like million dollars with the words 'Chief Minister' initiating their mes. Sir Thomas Overbury rightly says that 'beauty is only skin deep'. Is Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi aware of the corruptionraj going on in such schemes? This is in deed a million dollar question, in the real sense of the phrase.
Everything is a fishy stare in the State Fishery Department being headed by Basanta Das as the minister. According to departmental sources, the department has shown crores of rupees spent under various schemes and projects meant for the uplift of fishermen in the state, but there is no visible implementation of many such projects on the ground.
In order to bring home what they want to say, the sources in the department have opted to go for a reality check of the funds sanctioned for the department and spent by it in fiscal 2012-13 -
(5) According to department records, Rs 260 lakh was sanctioned for the development of beel and open water fishery under Chief Minister's Matshyagandha Scheme under SC sub-Plan. The entire amount has been shown as spent.
(6) Rs 274 lakh was sanctioned for the development of derelict water bodies under Chief Minister's Swaniyojan Scheme, also under SC sub-Plan. The entire amount has been shown as spent.
(7) Rs 4 lakh was sanctioned for accident group insurance of fishermen under the tiol Welfare of Fishermen under SC sub-Plan. The entire amount was shown as spent by the department.
(8) Rs 6.066 lakh was sanctioned for saving-cum-relief for fishermen under tiol Welfare of Fishermen Scheme, and the entire amount has been shown as spent.
The ground reality, according to departmental sources, is such that there is no vestige of implementation of any of the schemes mentioned above on the ground. Is the Chief Minister oblivious of it?
The departmental sources have also gone for a reality check of the funds sanctioned in the fiscal 2013-14 and their expenditure -
(4) Rs 537 lakh was sanctioned for fish and fish seeds under the Chief Minister's Amar Pukhuri Asoni. The entire amount has been shown as spent.
(5) Rs 4 lakh was sanctioned for group accident insurance for fisherman under the tiol Welfare Scheme for fishermen under SC sub-Plan. The entire amount has been shown as spent.
(6) Rs 36 lakh under two installments, Rs 27 lakh and Rs 9 lakh, was sanctioned for the development of model fishermen's village under the tiol Welfare Scheme for Fishermen's Housing. The entire amount has been shown as spent.
The ground reality, according to departmental sources, is such that there is no model fishermen's village in Assam and none of the above mentioned schemes was implemented in the state. Is the Chief Minister aware of it? If he is, what prevents him from conducting an investigation and punishing the culprits?
When such a corruptionraj has been going on in the department, apart from the state Fishery Minister, the Chief Minister is also under a cloud of suspicion.