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MLA ‘block’ in plans worth Rs 86 lakh

Debra (West Midnapore), Oct. 2: A block official in West Midnapore has alleged that he was unable to implement projects worth over Rs 80 lakh that have to be completed by this month because the local Trinamul MLA refused to sign the plans.

Kalipada Dinda, the block youth welfare officer of Debra, has sought the intervention of Trinamul Youth Congress district general secretary Vivek Mukhopadhyay.

In a letter to Mukhopadhyay on September 20, Dinda said that according to government rules, the projects could not be implemented without the signatures of MLA Radhankanta Maity, who sources said, was angry because the officer had already announced the plans in public.

Dinda said Rs 86 lakh had been sanctioned in July. “There are plans to set up two small indoor stadiums, two gymnasiums and disburse Rs 2 lakh each to 10 local clubs and an equal number of schools for maintenance of their playgrounds,” he added.

Asked if the MLA was indeed angry because of Dinda’s spilling the plans in public, an official said: “The block officer had convened a meeting at the block development officer’s conference room on September 15 to discuss the schemes. The MLA was present there. Apart from him, there were government officials, members of the 10 clubs and 31 teachers from the schools.”

He added: “Perhaps, the MLA did not like the way the block youth welfare officer distributed photocopies of the government order to several people. The order specified that all the welfare schemes should be completed before October 31.”

Dinda, however, claimed he had discussed the projects with the block development officer and the MLA before disclosing them to the club members and the headmasters.

“But despite that, Maity behaved rudely with me and sought an explanation on why I had announced the projects. He also called me worthless,” the officer said in his letter.

The MLA said he had no problems with Dinda and “knew nothing about any letter sent to the Youth Trinamul Congress general secretary”.

Asked about Dinda’s complaint, Mukhopadhyay said he had “heard about the letter” but was yet to receive it.

A senior official said Dinda should have “consulted either the block development officer or the district magistrate before writing to a political leader”.