DC orders probe as people allege solar lights fraud

Excelsior Correspondent

MENDHAR, Nov 9: The Deputy Commissioner Poonch, M H Malik ordered probe after the villagers from Balakote block lodged protest alleging fraud in distribution of solar lights among border villagers by BDO  Balakote and JAKEDA staff.
The villagers led by chairman of Sarpanch Association Balakote, Sarfraz Khan thronged the BDO office and stalled the process of distribution of Solar lights at around 3 pm today. The people alleged that Government staff was charging Rs 1000 from each family and was giving receipt of Rs 750 against each Solar light distributed. When the public objected to the charging of this amount and giving receipt of just Rs 750, the Panchayat Secretary Tanveer Khan had no concrete reply. Even the people claimed that charging of money for lights was illegal.
This is the Panchayat where Sarpanch Karamat Hussain and two other villagers had been killed in Pakistani shelling about six months back.  A total 411 Solar lights were provided by the Government for this Panchayat located closer to the LoC but they remained dumped in the office of BDO Balakote for the last 5-6 months.  The Sarpanch alleged that favourites of the employees and about 28 people who do not belong to this Panchayat have been provided Solar lights and genuine families have been ignored. The Sarpanch brought the matter to the notice of ACD and Dy Commissioner Poonch on telephone.
BDO, Balakote Abdul Rashid Khawaja when contacted  expressed ignorance over the matter  but he maintained that he was not aware about receipt of less amount being given by staff.  He passed on the buck to the JAKEDA staff.
DC Poonch, M H Malik when contacted said that he would hold an inquiry into the matter and employees found involved in any type of irregularity or fraud will not be spared. He said that matter has come to his notice and he has taken serious note of it.

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