The Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) has misappropriated funds of Rs 178 crore earmarked for the Meedum-Hortoki road digging project, according to a report in EastMojo. Rs 44 crore was allocated for the first phase and Rs 133 crore for the second phase. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) gave this money as a loan to facilitate the development of roads.
The Congress Vigilance Cell also submitted a First Information Report (FIR) on the alleged misappropriation of funds to the Mizoram Public Commissioner. SAIL also raised questions on the misuse of funds meant for road digging.
RV Hluna of Edenthar was awarded the contract for the initial phase, while Zoramchhana was awarded the contract for the second phase.
RTI documents reveal that the road digging project was allegedly undertaken to study the nature of underground soil and the need for mass transport means. This was a requirement of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The Congress alleges that ONGC had stopped oil and gas exploration in Meidum-Hartavki on October 7, 2015. ONGC’s equipment was later shifted to Srikona, Silchar. This is in line with the information contained in Chapter D-(2) of the Directorate of Geology and Mining’s Annual Report 2022-23, which states that ONGC no longer provides petroleum exploration license fee to the Government of Mizoram.
The Congress said the extravagance on the project raised questions on the conduct of the state government.
Assembly elections for the 40-member assembly are due later this year.
first published: 24 August 2023 | 4:26 pm First