Massive scam in BJP's government's nutrition programme in Madhya Pradesh: state auditortext_fields
Bhopal: Shocking levels of corruption have been found in the BJP led Madhya Pradesh government's the ambitious free food scheme for schoolchildren, NDTV reported.
Corruption is most obvious in the transportation of rations. The six manufacturing plants claimed to have used trucks to transport 1,125.64 metric tons of rations costing ₹ 6.94 crore.
But the trucks were found to be registered as motorcycles, cars, autos and tankers upon verification from the transport department records, according to the report.
The Women and Child Development Department under the supervision of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is beset by irregularities in the identification of beneficiaries, production, distribution and quality control of food.
A confidential 36-page report by the Madhya Pradesh Accountant General reveals "eye-popping" levels of corruption in the government's nutrition programme, leaving children at the risk of malnourished, according to the report.
The report examined 24 per cent of beneficiaries of the state's Take Home Ration(THR) scheme for 2021, which is aimed at providing nourishment to 49.58 lakh registered children and women.
They included 34.69 lakh children aged between 6 months to 3 years, 14.25 lakh pregnant women and lactating mothers and 0.64 lakhs Out Of School Adolescent Girls or OOSAGs aged between 11-14 years, basing the auditor's findings on nearly 12 lakh individuals, the report said.
When it comes to identifying the beneficiaries, the survey for finding out eligible out-of-school girls for rations was not finished by Child Development (WCD) Department till February 2021.
Identification was not carried out despite being asked to do so by the central and state governments.
Without carrying out a survey, WCD estimated the number of out-of-school girls at 36.08 lakh, while the School Education Department put their numbers at 9,000 in 2018-19.
Another shocking falsification of numbers show the WCD department listing 63,748 out-of-school girls under 49 Aanganwadi centres in eight districts but the audit found only three girls in them all. The WCD department also claimed to have helped 29,104 of them during 2018-21.
In order to ensure quality of food distributed, ration samples were to be sent to labs outside the state during different stages of distribution from plant to the Anganwadis; the report, however, said the procedure was not done indicating that woman may have received poor quality rations, according to the report.
The state authorities, reportedly, have not responded to the damning report that will fly in the face of BJP's claim of running clean governments under its watch across the nation.