The Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has in the past reported bizarre cases of corruption but this one beats them all. In a remote village in Sidhi district of the state, one km of road has reportedly disappeared overnight. The deputy Sarpanch and locals of the village reached the local police thana (Manjholi) in the morning a couple of days ago and lodged a complaint about the disappearance of the road.
They told the police that they are referring to a place where a road existed in the night but was missing the next morning. They claimed that the patch is not commutable in the monsoon.
The matter also landed at the Janapad Panchayat office where the officers were left amused. The Chief Executive Officer of the Janpad Panchayat accepted that his office has received a report of the disappeared road.
The bizarre incident has been reported from Mendhra village under Manjholi Janpad Panchayat in Sidhi district, one of the most backward districts of the state. A connecting road was built, on papers, in the village and funds meant for the project reportedly were embezzled by government staffers, said locals. However, the approach road turned into a poodle as monsoon lashed the area recently.
It was surprising that in panchayat records it was entered that the said route got a kachcha road (with crushed stones) in year 2017 and six months after, a pucca road was built with a budget of Rs 10 lakh. As the deputy sarpanch and villagers whiffed the details of the panchayat records, the construction agency tried hushing up the matter and dumped some material on the road in the night but the same was washed away by heavy rains by morning couple of days ago.
Exposing the corruption, Deputy Sarpanch Ramesh Kumar Yadav said that road was in good shape till couple of days ago in night in ward number 15 but it was ‘stolen’ in the morning and crushed stones kept there also disappeared. The villagers also reached Manjholi Janapad panchayat office and filed a complaint about the ‘stolen’ road.
ML Prajapati, the CEO of the Janpad Panchayat Manjholi, said the locals had complained to him that an approach road has been stolen in the night a few days ago adding he will get the matter probed.
Local BJP leader Akhilesh Pandey claimed that the locals claim that the budget meant for the road had been withdrawn by government staffers but no road was built in their area. I will get this matter probed by senior officers, said Pandey. Several officers in the Janpad Panchayat also accepted that there has been corruption in the matter as the road was never built.
Locals also claimed that they used this unique way to shake up the administration when they learnt that the road was never built in the area but the budget was misappropriated by the government staffers.
(Inputs Harish Dwivedi)