SHILLONG, May 10: Quoting RTI reports, the Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) has alleged pilferage of the funds for Muster Roll workers in the Sericulture department amounting to lakhs of Rupees and has accordingly demanded an inquiry into the issue.
It may be noted here that Sericulture Muster Roll Workers who are spread across the state in different units such as the silkworm rearing farms, reeling and weaving units in Ri Bhoi, East Khasi hills and Jaintia Hills have been laid off since 2015 and have been told that there were no funds for engaging them.
In this backdrop, Sericulture Muster Roll Workers along with TUR organised a public hearing on Wednesday to discuss the documents and information that was received after they filed an RTI which focused mainly on the wages and working conditions of the Muster roll workers of the department.
“Analyzing the records of the past 10 years they were shocked to find pilferage amounting to lakhs of rupees drawn against their name even for months and years when they did not work, payments being made out to ghost workers including in the name of some of their school going children and inflated nos. of workers for these farms as opposed to the actual nos. of people who usually work,” TUR leader, Angela Rangad said in this regard.
She also informed that the analysis of the papers and sharing the findings was done by the muster roll workers themselves in the presence of two independent observers in the presence of officers and representatives from the Directorate of Sericulture and the Deputy Director and Director Weaving, District Sericulture Officers and others.
“The findings indicate rampant and blatant corruption in this department,” Rangad said while adding, “At this hearing only the corruption in wages of the muster roll workers was established.”
She also opined that an analysis in material procurements will most likely indicate an even larger scale of corruption even as she attributed this as the reason behind this sector and this department in the state running into shambles.
Meanwhile, Rangad has informed that the findings will be submitted to the State Vigilance Commissioner with a demand for an inquiry. The workers are also demanding regularisation of their work and improved working conditions which they feel is necessary for the very survival of this department.