WB govt issues show-cause notice to 5 BDOs for irregularity in distribution of cyclone relief funds

Kolkata, Jun 21 (PTI) The West Bengal government has issued show-cause notice to five Block Development Officers (BDOs) in four districts for alleged irregularity in distribution of cyclone Amphan relief materials and funds, a senior official said on Sunday.

Action will also be taken against public representatives in the panchayats if they are found involved in alleged misappropriation of funds mostly meant for people to rebuild damaged houses as well for farmers whose agricultural fields were damaged in the cyclone, the official said.

'Strict action' will be taken against five BDOs posted in districts of South 24 Paraganas, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah if their replies are found 'unsatisfactory', he said.

'There are several complaints alleging that people who have been genuinely affected by the cyclone did not get the benefits announced by the state government... There are also cases where people who are close to the public representatives in the panchayats or related to them have got funds for house rebuilding though their houses were not damaged nor had they any agricultural lands,' the senior IAS officer said.

The list of the affected people either had their names misspelt or had wrong bank account numbers as well as IFSC codes.

'Since the lists of affected people meant to get the benefits were prepared as per the suggestions of the committees constituted by the BDOs and representatives of the panchayats (mainly the public representatives). So they also have to bear the responsibility of these faults. Everything will be looked into,' he said.

The CM is personally looking into the matter and is not at all happy that people have not got the benefits which are meant for them, the senior bureaucrat said.

The CM had announced several schemes to extend financial support to people in the districts ravaged by cyclone Amphan on May 20.

Financial assistance has been announced for farmers, fishermen and for rebuilding houses damaged by the cyclone.

At least 87 people have been killed in cyclone Amphan.

PTI SCH RG RG