Sarpanch Arrested For Misusing Collector’s Power In Odisha’s Balangir

Balangir: Loisingha police arrested a lady sarpanch of Salveta panchayat under Agalapada block here for misusing collector’s power on Sunday.

The accused has been identified as Hemakanti Munda, the sarpanch of Salveta panchayat in Agalapada block of Balangir. Her husband was also arrested in this connection while the eight others are still on the run.

According to sources, after five families of the area were allotted houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana  Gramin (PMAYG), the Sarpanch along with her husband and eight others demolished the under-construction houses.

“We have started the construction work after receiving the work order. Though the sanctioned money was not enough, we somehow managed by taking loans from money lenders. The under-construction houses being built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana  Gramin (PMAYG) were demolished after the order given by sarpanch,” one of the beneficiaries alleged.

When asked, sarpanch Munda said, “I, my husband and some of the villagers had demolished the houses as I have been given the power of a collector.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the state government had earlier given sarpanchs the power of collectors to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

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