IMC denies ex-councillor’s allegations

NAHARLAGUN, Jul 15: The Itanagar Municipal Council (IMC) on Sunday denied the allegations levelled by former Ward 18 councillor Gora Lotak regarding misappropriation of funds meant for the individual household latrine (IHHL) scheme, under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), by the IMC.
Lotak had alleged that the IMC had received Rs 267.24 crore in 2015-16 under the IHHL component and misused the fund without any physical achievement to show for it.
The IMC clarified that it had received Rs 267.24 “lakhs” as total funding under the SBM component, out of which only Rs 37.87 lakhs was for the IHHL component. The rest of the amount was for other components, such as capacity building, community toilets, solid waste management, and public awareness, it said.
“All the components have been executed as per the SBM guidelines and on prior approval accorded by the empowered standing committee of the IMC,” the IMC explained in a release this evening.
On Lotak’s claim that there are 20,000 beneficiaries under the IHHL scheme, the IMC said the actual beneficiaries identified by the IMC for Itanagar and Naharlagun towns “are only 789 for consideration under first phase.”
It said that, after the construction of IHHLs by the beneficiaries, the IMC has geo-tagged all the toilets’ locations, and that information on all the completed toilets have been uploaded on the SBM portal for online verification and approval for releasing the payment electronically to the individual beneficiaries’ accounts in two installments.
“As of now, out of the 789 beneficiaries, a total of 423 beneficiary toilets have been approved online and their payment shall be made shortly by the IMC,” it said, and explained that there has been a delay in approving the payments of the remaining beneficiaries due to verification issues such as errors in names, non-seeding of Aadhar numbers with bank accounts, incorrect telephone number or death cases, etc.
It also said there are a total of 54 IHHL beneficiaries in Ward 18, represented by former councillor Lotak, who were identified by him during his tenure as councillor.
On the allegation that the utilization certificate (UC) of the IHHL scheme, along with other components have been submitted without actual work done, the IMC clarified that the UC and photographs of all the SBM components “being concomitance, have been forwarded to the mission director for obtaining subsequent installment from the ministry.
“The allegation levelled against the IMC by former councillor Gora Lotakā€¦ is baseless, depraved and a conceited attempt before the citizens of Itanagar,” it said.
The IMC meanwhile appealed to the beneficiaries whose names have been written erroneously to come forward, so that the payments could be transferred to their respective bank accounts immediately.