GSLDC officers dug farm ponds solely on paper

Vadodara: Close on the heels of the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) of the state police seizing over Rs 56lakh in cash from the office of Gujarat State Land Development Corporation (GSLDC), a scam of nearly Rs one crore involving the corporation has come to light in Shehra taluka of Panchmahal district. GSLDC deputy director, surveyor are among the six booked for forgery, cheating, criminal breach of trust and other offences.
An offence registered by the Shehra police claims that the officials of the corporation had passed works for ponds for 160 farmers in different villages of the taluka. But the work remained on paper and the money was siphoned away.

According to the police, an aid of 90% of the cost of a farm pond is provided by GSLDC to farmers. In the financial year 2016-17, officials of the corporation allegedly collected documents from farmers and made entries in the ‘ikhedut’ portal. They also forged the signatures of the farmers to fill application forms.

The officials also showed that the work for the ponds was given to an agency. An amount of Rs 99.49lakh was allocated for the works. But the ponds were never dug.

The details came to the notice of an alert farmer Mansukh Baria from Khatakpur village who approached the police.

Deputy director of GSLDC Kushwah, surveyor J K Vankar and four other persons from the agency that was given the work have been named as accused in the offence registered by the police.

Sources said that Shehra BJP MLA Jetha Ahir had raised the issue earlier with the GSLDC and the state government. He had in the past sought details of such ponds dug in Shehra taluka.

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