Home » Lokesh seeks CVC probe into Polavaram package fraud

Lokesh seeks CVC probe into Polavaram package fraud

Bogus D-form pattas used to fleece Tribal evacuees
Writes to Central Vigilance Commissioner
VROs, local YCP leaders tampered with revenue records
Rs 3 Cr sent to bogus evacuees’ accounts at K. Kothagudem
AMARAVATI: TDP National General Secretary and MLC Nara Lokesh on Friday urged the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) for a thorough probe into the involvement of employees and local leaders in ‘cheating and stealing’ the rehabilitation and resettlement packages meant for Adivasis under the Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh.
In a letter sent to the CVC here, Nara Lokesh said that revenue records were tampered and bogus D-form pattas were created for lands belonging to Adivasis. Massive frauds worth crores of rupees were thus carried out in the tribal villages affected by the dam. In just one village, Rs. 3 Cr funds were diverted and deposited into the bank accounts of bogus evacuees at K. Kothagudem. The local village revenue officers (VROs) and the ruling YSRCP leaders were involved in tampering revenue records. Such frauds might have taken place in hundreds of villages.
Lokesh told the CVC that there was an immediate need to inquire into widespread corruption in giving compensation under Polavaram. Disciplinary action should be initiated against the culprits, especially the erring VROs. Swindling of money through bogus D-Forms at K. Kothagudem has been brought to the notice of the Collector and District Magistrate, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh. But no action was initiated till date. Over Rs. 3 crores was given as compensation to at least 12 bogus evacuees, each of whom got Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 52 lakhs.
Nara Lokesh said that the names of false beneficiaries, survey numbers and the amounts paid to them were made available. This was pertaining to bogus D-form pattas issued in K.Kothagudem. It indicated how much larger corruption would have taken place in hundreds of other villages affected by the Polavaram project. The modus operandi of the scam raised serious doubts about the involvement of the ruling YSRCP leaders, directly or indirectly.
Lokesh said that the local VROs along with ruling YSRCP leaders first created new revenue records (Adangal) with bogus names. The government lands concerned were not taken over. In their place, bogus D-forms have been registered and the same were recommended for compensation. They avoided cross-checking and provided the wrongful information to the higher officials. Bogus title-holders masqueraded as authentic land-holders for the sake of swindling compensation. They were further declared officially to be eligible for compensation from the government. Consequently, the actual compensation money was deposited in the accounts of bogus landholders but not those of Adivasi evacuees.
Decrying the injustice, Nara Lokesh told the CVC that these bogus landholders were registered in the Government’s Web-Land portal to authenticate their false credentials. Local officials recommended that these bogus landholders be given a passbook to complete the trail of documentary evidence and to show them as Polavaram evacuees in need of rehabilitation packages. This massive swindling came to the surface following the RTI responses given by VR Puram Tahsildar in East Godavari district to one Kotla Appa Rao of Sithampet.
Nara Lokesh told the CVC that Polavaram has been a dream project of Telugu people for many decades and it was seen as a lifeline project for the entire State. The dam, at present, has been under construction and more than a lakh people have been displaced due to the dam, an overwhelming majority of them being Adivasis. A considerable compensation package was announced for each displaced family. However, the actual displaced Adivasi families have been hugely betrayed. The compensation they deserve in lieu of their lands has been misappropriated by others through fake D-Forms and with fake identities.
Lokesh termed it as a ‘sad reality’ that Adivasis were facing discrimination and were being betrayed even after seven decades of independence. In this backdrop, it was worth remembering the statement made by Jaipal Singh Munda in the Constituent Assembly, a lone representative of Adivasis and former captain of the Indian Hockey team. Jaipal Singh Munda said: “The whole history of my people is one of continuous exploitation and dispossession by the non-aboriginals of India punctuated by rebellions and disorder, and yet I take Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru at his word. I take you all at your word that now we are going to start a new chapter, a new chapter of Independent India where there is equality of opportunity, where no one would be neglected”.

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