February 6, 2019 09:14 AM NPT
By: Madan Thakur
RAUTAHAT, Feb 6: Deputy mayor of Phatuwa Bijayapur Municipality, Kantidevi Mahato has accused the mayor and the chief administrative officer (CAO) of the local unit of embezzling millions of rupees.
According to Deputy Mayor Mahato, Mayor Gopal Yadav and CAO Sagar Kumar Rokka have been collaborating with various authorities with the ill intention of pocketing government budget. Speaking at a press conference organized on Tuesday, Mahato accused CAO and mayor of deploying their relatives for the extraction of construction materials from the Lalbakaiya River and collecting money without receipts.
"No one knows where the money goes," said Deputy Mayor Mahato. Speaking at the press conference, which was attended by 17 of the total 21 members of the municipality, Mahato accused the mayor and CAO of scrapping the tender process and mobilizing their kith and kin for the extraction of materials from the river.
Meanwhile, CAO Rokka stated that he has no idea about the tender process but he admitted that some of the officials have been extracting gravel, sand and stones from Lalbakaiya River as instructed by the mayor.
Reportedly, the tender was assigned to Google Constructions for Rs. 29 million but the mayor went on to assign the officials of the municipality for the excavation without even scrapping the tender. "I have no idea how much revenue they have been collecting," said Rokka.
Mayor Yadav admitted that the resources are being extracted from the river "but as per the law." He claimed that that the resources are being sold legally by issuing the receipt of the local unit. In his defense, he said that he was obliged to take this step as the ward chiefs did not submit the details of the collected revenue in the municipality properly when they were entrusted with this responsibility.
Deputy Mayor Mahato did not just stop there and said, "They never call the meeting of the municipality and do not even organize municipal assembly despite being urged repeatedly." Responding to her allegation, Mayor Yadav said, "It's not like I have not tried but we have not been successful in making it happen due to various reasons."
Furthermore, Mayor Yadav has been accused of making decisions without the consent of the other members of the local unit. As informed by Deputy Mayor Mahato, CAO Rokka is never regular at office and instead invites the service seekers to his home for government work.
Not just Mahato but other members of the local unit also accused Mayor Yadav of making all decisions single-handedly. Rokka had earlier taken a two-month leave to go home and he assumes everyone went wrong during that period. Therefore, he assured the journalists, that he would make everything fine again.
One municipality, two offices
Without informing the two-thirds members of the local unit, Mayor Yadav and CAO Rokka shifted their workstations to a new place. It has been learnt that 17 out of the total 21 members work in the office situated in ward no.8 while four other members including the mayor have been working in the new office based in ward no.9.