Madikeri: Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister K S Eshwarappa and Kodagu district in-charge minister V Somanna have suspended Zilla Panchayat executive engineer Srikantaiah for placing Rs 21 crores, money that was supposedly sanctioned for flood relief work, in his private bank account. He was suspended after the charges against him were proven.
It can be recalled that an amount of Rs 28 crores was sanctioned by the Panchayat Raj department of the ZP for flood relief in the district. Out of Rs 28 crores, Deputy Commissioner Anees Kanmani Joy had issued a cheque of Rs 21 crores to the Panchayat Raj department of ZP and directed them to deposit it in the department's account.
According to the reports, ZP executive engineer Srikantaiah had deposited that amount in his private Kotak Mahindra Bank account and used it for other projects, leaving a balance of only Rs 21 lakhs.
Sources said that, in order to open a private account and deposit the cash given by the department, permission from the revenue department as well as the district administration must be availed, which the executive engineer skipped.
In one of the ZP meetings, member Shivu Madappa had urged for an inquiry into the allegations and as a majority of the members asked for an inquiry, ZP CEO Lakshmi Priya directed the chief accounting officer to conduct a probe and submit a report on the issue. During the investigation, it was found that Srikantaiah had deposited the amount in his private account.
Later, Lakshmi Priya submitted the report to the government which found the executive engineer be guilty and demanded that stringent action be taken against him.
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