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Punjab

Punjab Vigilance Bureau registers case for misappropriation of Rs 6.66 cr of panchayat funds

Punjab Vigilance Bureau registers case for misappropriation of Rs 6.66 cr of panchayat funds
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Chandigarh: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Friday said it has booked 17 people, including two 'sarpanches' and a junior engineer, for allegedly misappropriating panchayat funds to the tune of Rs 6.66 crore.

A Punjab Vigilance Bureau spokesman said the funds were received in lieu of acquisition of gram panchayat lands pertaining to five villages --Akari, Sehra, Sehri, Takhtumajra and Pabra, in Patiala district under the Amritsar-Kolkata Integrated Corridor Project.

Among 17, two were 'sarpanches' (village heads), eight 'panches' of Akari and Sehari villages and two panchayat secretaries.

The spokesperson further said 10 firms have also been booked for supplying materials and labour under the name of development works in villages Akari and Sehri.

The spokesperson said the Punjab Urban Development Authority had acquired over 1,103 acres of panchayat land in these five villages to construct the Amritsar-Kolkata Integrated Corridor Project.

The compensation amount to the tune of Rs 285 crore was paid to the panchayats of villages Akari, Sehari, Sehara, Taktumajara and Pabbra on account of acquired land. Apart from this, the cultivators of this land were given a total displacement allowance of Rs 97.80 crore.

The spokesperson said the residents had complained that the development works were not properly done in the two villages of Akari and Sehari.

During the probe, it came to light that the funds were released without undertaking any development works in Akari and Sehari. Funds to the tune of Rs 6.66 crore were embezzled, the spokesperson said.

Further investigation pertaining to other village panchayats was underway, said the spokesperson.

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