Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana list fury at panchayat office : Nadia

Angry to find their names out of the list of beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), villagers allegedly vandalised a gram panchayat office in Nadia’s Nakashipara on Monday afternoon and locked it after forcing out officials. 

The villagers, who gathered at the Birpur-II gram panchayat office, apparently lost their cool after they came to know that while their names were missing, some of the beneficiaries of the housing scheme were allegedly those with pucca houses.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana list fury at panchayat office
Angry villagers reportedly barged into the panchayat office and went on a rampage, breaking doors and window panes, desktop computers, laptops and furniture.

A team of Nakashipara police rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. Villagers alleged largescale malpractice in identifying the beneficiaries under the PMAY by panchayat officials and elected members.

“It is shocking to find deserving people getting deprived of PMAY houses. Those who are genuinely poor have been ignored and persons who enjoy close proximity to the ruling party are getting benefits although they own pucca residences,” alleged Anwar Hossain, a protesting villager.

Local sources said that after coming to know about the spiralling anger of villagers, gram panchayat authorities convened a meeting apparently to “rectify” the mistakes. But villagers lost their cool once they realised nothing would be “changed” and “rectified”.

“It becomes obvious to us that the only objective of the panchayat authority is to siphon money... most of the deserving persons are poor and incapable of offering anyone any bribe. So they are being struck out of the PMAY beneficiary list deliberately,” a villager alleged.

“If this continues, people would get angrier and it will be tough for the police to control them,” he added.

Trying to refute these allegations, Trinamul leader and pradhan of Birpur-II Sabita Sarkar said: “There were some wrong entries of beneficiaries. We initially prepared a list of 3,172 beneficiaries out of which 1,476 persons were later dropped. So according to the BDO’s directive, we planned to make a formal resolution by convening an all-party meeting at the gram panchayat office. Unfortunately, during the meeting, some villagers turned violent and attacked us. They ransacked the panchayat office, prompting us to call the police.”

Nakashiparal police began a probe based on a complaint lodged by panchayat authorities.

Nakashipara BDO KallolBiswas said: “As far as I know, no ‘deprived’ villager was present during the vandalism at the panchayat office. It appears that some goons barged into the panchayat office and damaged government property. The goons also damaged the CCTV. We have told police to take action against the culprits.”

Ever since lists of PMAY beneficiaries have been published, anger has erupted among people across Bengal over alleged irregularities in the lists.

In many places, villagers alleged that several beneficiaries were relatives of panchayat officials or elected representatives with pucca residential buildings who did not deserve to be on the PMAY list.

The Bengal government, in a damage-control bid, started to scrutinise the lists and delete hundreds of “wrong entries”. The exercise is still on. 

Apprehending a political backlash, the state government has also started taking action against the guilty.


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