BARA, July 17: Two-thirds of the amount transferred to the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernization Project (PMAMP) Super Zone Implementation Unit Simraungarh Bara for the construction of new ponds and purchase of agricultural equipment has been frozen in the fiscal year 2016/17.
“PMAMP Super Zone Implementation Unit had received Rs 358.1 million to build new ponds in 950 hectares of land and to purchase agricultural equipment for distribution to the farmers in subsidy,” said Yugal Kishor Tiwari, chief of PMAMP, Super Zone Implementation Unit, Bara. “Of received budget, only Rs 126 million has been spent.”
Tiwari said that the construction of new ponds took very long and dispute among newly formed Super Zone Operators Committees led to the freezing of Rs 233.7 million.
“Of the spent budget, Rs 50 million had been provided to farmers who built ponds spreading to 55 hectares of land,” he told Republica. “Farmers who built ponds in a hectare of land received subsidy amounting Rs 300,000 each.”
According to Tiwari, the construction of ponds was carried out in land area that was eight times less than the target. PMAMP had also purchased pick-ups, tractors, excavators and chiling vats to distribute to the farmers with at least 50 to 85 percent subsidy.
“Kankali Higher Secondary School was provided with Rs 2.5 million for establishment of agriculture campus and labs while Rs 11.5 million had been provided for small irrigation programs,” Tiwari told Republica. “The Super Zone Implementation Unit, Simraunagadh had formed a nine-member Super Zone Operators Committee led by Jalandar Singh, which was drawn to controversy.”
The Super Zone Operators Committee needs to provide recommendation to the farmers, only after which they receive the subsidy for the construction of ponds.
“Huge amount of the budget froze as chairman of the Committee and other members tried to operate in their own way because of which the office could not operate effectively,” he further added.