BJP MLA sniffs scam in housing scheme for rural poor in Gujarat

Written by Gopal Kateshiya | Gopal Kateshiya | Vadodara | Updated: Sep 6 2012, 16:32pm hrs
A day after The Indian Express reported how three beneficiaries of Sardar Patel Avas Yojana (SPAY) in Nandesari village were allegedly defrauded by a contractor, Vadodara (rural) MLA Upendrasinh Gohil on Wednesday alleged the scam was much bigger and that two more widows of the same village were duped in a similar manner last year.

It is true that houses have not been constructed and the contractor has taken away money. I have come to know that SPAY money of two widows of the same village were taken away last year but construction of their houses have not progressed beyond plinth level till date. There is a huge scam of swindling SAY money, Gohil, a BJP MLA, told The Indian Express.

On Tuesday, The Indian Express reported that a Vadodara-based contractor took away money of cheques worth 21,000 each given to 23 BPL families of Nandesari and Rupapura villages at a Garib Kalyan Mela but never started construction of their homes.

Gohil visited Nandesari and met the victim families on Wednesday. He also took photocopies of three cheques given by the contractor, Sajid Patel, to beneficiaries and which allegedly bounced due to insufficient balance in Patels account. The cheques were given to Janak Ramsinh Raj, Vidya Mahendra Parmar and Ranjan Bhartsinh Parmar.

I have faxed the copies of the bounced cheques to the chief minister. These cheques of Baroda Central Cooperative Bank were issued by Patel. I have also faxed copies of bank statements of the three beneficiaries to prove that government cheques given at Garib Kalyan Mela were cleared, Gohil said.

Meanwhile, Patel reportedly returned money to Janak Raj, Vidya Parmar and Ranajan Parmar. I have been told that he (the contractor) has deposited amount in the bank accounts of the three, Gohil said. Sources said the contractor had deposited cheques on Tuesday and they were cleared on Wednesday.

Patel had said yesterday he would return money to all the beneficiaries and would terminate his contract of building the one-room-kitchen houses.