Vigilance monitoring in the rural development department seems to have become a joke with officers preferring to keep the complaints in cold storage.
No action is initiated and if the action is taken, it is often delayed which results in accused managing to go scot free. Pace at which Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Rural Development Department has been working speaks in volumes about how serious he is towards the job assigned to him.
According to details available with Newspoint, 823 complaints were received by the Rural Development Department. Of these, 215 pertain to Jammu division, 233 to Kashmir division, 73 are lying with administrative department while 302 are with police and other departments. The department has managed to dispose off just 51 complaints which is just 6.l percent of the total complaints the department has received.
On being asked by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner Kuldeep Khoda, the department said that it made recoveries in some cases besides withholding annual increment of perpetrators against whom irregularities were established but could not explain with satisfaction the reasons for this dismal performance. Discussing the status of the RDAs, the Commission received status report of 13 RDAs from the department out of 19 pending with them, showing that 5 RDAs have been closed while proceedings have been initiated in 8 cases and the report is awaited from subordinate offices.
On this, setting a deadline for disposing off the complaints and enquiries pending with Rural Development Department, State Vigilance Commission (SVC) directed the officers of the department to make monitoring mechanism more effective at all levels to improve working of the department and check the corrupt practices resorted to by officials.
Commission asked the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Rural Development Department to exercise his powers as conferred under the State Vigilance Commission Rules, 2013 and take required assistance from the department. Regarding implementation of centrally sponsored schemes, the Commission observed that most of the complaints, received by the Commission, are about the change of location of works in contravention of approved plans and stressed for adhering to strictly the guidelines prescribed.
Commission directed the department to make sure that all the works are executed in accordance with approved plans that too without altering locations as is being practiced by some Block Development Officers for benefiting particular persons. While receiving brief about e-payments, the Commission was informed that payments through cheques has been stopped and are now directly transferred into the accounts of the beneficiaries.
Stressing for ensuring maximum participation of people in framing development plans, commission directed the officers of RDD to evolve a system for checking the abuse of system by Sarpanchs and Panchs. Commission was informed that department has established Monitoring Committees in every village in addition to Sarpanchs and Panchs to oversee developmental plans being implemented on ground.
Regarding videography and photography of the works, the Commission underlined the need for having these uploaded on official website indicating the location, cost and year of execution of the work. The Commission also asked the authorities to make official website interactive so that people can post comments and lodge complaints without any hindrance.