KORAPUT: The Rayagada administration on Monday ordered a probe into the alleged swindling of funds meant for planting fruit-bearing trees under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREGS) in 2013-14.
Villagers of Lakris under Kashipur block in the district recently complained that contrary to the horticulture department’s claims of planting mango and cashew saplings over 20 hectares of land in the village by creating 13,460 mandays and spending around Rs 47 lakh, neither a single villager was engaged under the scheme nor a sapling planted, official sources said.
In the memorandum submitted to the district administration, the villagers alleged that the authorities concerned misappropriated funds by preparing false muster rolls and vouchers.
“The probe was ordered on the basis of the complaint lodged by the villagers. If the allegation is true, appropriate action will be taken against those found guilty,” said collector (Rayagada) Jagannath Mohanty.
In 2013-14, the horticulture department carried out plantation in 22 villages of the block under the rural job scheme.
In each village, mango and cashew saplings were planted on 20 hectares of land by spending Rs 47 lakh, the sources added. “All these villages will be covered in our investigation,” the collector Mohanty added