A fire broke out in a record room of Umarpada taluka panchayat office in Surat district on Wednesday evening, damaging important files of the works done under MNREGA project, Sardar Awas Scheme and state government’s Nirmal Gujarat Sauchalay Scheme.
Ordering an inquiry, District Development Officer Vijay Kharadi said, “We have directed FSL officials to investigate and find out the cause of the fire. We have asked the taluka development officer and mamlatdar of Umarpada to find out the details about how much record has been damaged. We will take strict action if anybody is found guilty.”
However, sources said that former Union minister and ex-MP of Congress party Dr Tushar Chaudhary, along with Opposition leader of Surat district Panchayat Darshan Naik and Congress MLA Mohan Dodhia, made a representation to Umarpada mamlatdar on Tuesday to find out details about the works done under different schemes like MNREGA, Sardar Awas Scheme, and state government Nirmal Gujarat Sauchalay Scheme in Umarpada taluka.
Incidentally, next day the fire broke out in the record room on second floor of Umarpada taluka Panchayat office. The Umarpada taluka panchayat president, Gambhir Singh Vasawa (BJP leader), reached to the spot after learning about the incident and immediately called up Bardoli and Mandvi fire department officials.
Umarpada Taluka Development Officer N M Halpati said, “The fire broke out in the room where all the files were kept. I was in Gandhinagar to attend a meeting and while returning to Umarpada, I received call from taluka panchayat president Gambhir Vasawa about the fire incident. The fire officials of Mandvi and Bardoli reached the spot after one hour as the distance between Umarpada and Bardoli is far. The fire officials are yet to find out the reason behind the fire. The furniture and computers were also burnt.”
Surat district panchayat opposition leader Darshan Naik said, “Entire records of the work done under MNREGA and other schemes of central and state governments have turned into ashes. We have collected records from different departments about the work done at Umarpada in the year 2014-15. As per our data, under MNREGA scheme, Rs 3.47 crore were given to the beneficiaries, while under Sardar Awas Scheme, 1,219 houses were built and payment were given. While in toilet block construction scheme, a total of 985 beneficiaries had been given payment. We are sure that on ground level no such work has been done. The fire broke out under mysterious circumstances after we made our representations.”