Graft allegations halt UP govt’s free bicycle scheme in Moradabad

The inquires were ordered after it was alleged that money was taken while the list of beneficiaries was being prepared by the district labour department.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow | Updated: October 14, 2016 6:47 pm
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AKHILESH government’s scheme of distributing free bicycles to labourers ran into a major controversy after beneficiaries in Moradabad alleged that bribe was taken from them to include their names in the list.

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Now, the Moradabad District Magistrate, Zuhair Bin Saghir, has ordered two separate inquiries into the matter to be conducted by two teams. While one team consists of a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and a circle officer (CO), another inquiry is being conducted by Chief Development Officer (CDO), Moradabad.

The inquires were ordered after it was alleged that money was taken while the list of beneficiaries was being prepared by the district labour department. The scheme is open to those whose names are registered with the labour department.

On Saturday, free bicycles were distributed by district labour department in presence of the CDO during a programme organised at a school in Moradabad’s Peepalsana town.

“Two separate inquiries have been ordered after complaints were made during Saturday’s programme that money was taken from beneficiaries. Action will be taken on the basis of the findings of the inquiry reports,” said Saghir.

The DM further added that the scheme had been put on hold in the district till the reports were received.

In 2013, CM Akhilesh Yadav had launched the scheme of distributing free cycles to about three lakh labourers in the state. Those who were made eligible for the benefits included factory workers, industry labourers, skilled labourers like masons, carpenters, who are registered with the labour department.

SDM, Sadar area, Maya Shankar Yadav, who is conducting one of the inquiries, said that a few of the beneficiaries told the officials present during Saturday’s event that a bribe of Rs 200 to Rs 500 was taken from each of them to include their names in the list prepared by the labour department.

Since large number of complainants appeared at the place, a preliminary inquiry was conducted and allegations were found prima facie true, said sources. The complainants told that they do not identify the persons who collected the money as they called themselves ‘agents’, the SDM added.

When contacted, deputy labour officer, Moradabad, Munni Lal Chowdhary said that the process of preparing the list of beneficiaries started around a month back after which those interested deposited their applications.

“No agency was brought in from outside to prepare the list. On Saturday, 2,700 cycles were distributed. The process of distributing free cycles has been stopped till the inquiry is on,” said Chowdhary.

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