Aizawl (www.zoramobserver.com): Alleging huge corruption as found in Health Minister Lal Thanzara’s Aizawl North-III assembly constituency, the Aizawl based anti corruption watchdog, Peoples Right to Information and Development Society of Mizoram (PRISM) said that the minister should be arrested for illegally awarding contract worth Rs. 21.40 lakh to unregistered firm.
Addressing a function at PRISM office here, the anti-corruption watchdog president Vanlalruata said that Health Minister Lal Thanzara has allegedly sanctioned his MLA funds worth Rs. 21.40 lakh to a “fake” firm – ‘My Dear Friends Welfare’ or MDF which has no registration under the government.
“Leaders of the anti-corruption watchdog had recently conducted survey and inspection of works executed within Chanmari West local council area under Aizawl North-III assembly constituency during which it was discovered that 68.29% of MLA Local Area Development (LAD) fund was awarded to MDF, the existence of which was not even aware by leaders of the local council,” he said.
He said that the anti-corruption watchdog has enquired and cross-checked the credibility of the firm and learnt that it is not registered under firms & society registrar, Co-operation and LE&IT department.
“Since award of MLA fund to unregistered or fake firm is illegal, criminal charge should be slapped against minister Lal Thanzara and he should be arrested,” Vanlaruata said.
According to the president, 41 works have been said to be executed within Chanmari West local council area during 2014-2017 out of which 12 works were missing and the total expenditure incurred in these works was estimated at Rs 34.6 lakh.
Meanwhile, a joint statement issued by of Chanmari West Congress unit I and II said that the MLA LAD fund was used to build public assets and economically backward families were selected to contract the works.
“As an approval from a welfare committee, comprising of local NGOs, is required to get MLA fund sanctioned, an welfare committee called MDF (My Dear Friends) Welfare was formed in Chanmari West in 2009 with the approval of then village council (now local council) president,” the statement said.
Reacting to the Congress units’ joint statement, Vanlalruata said that MLA LAD fund is meant for building durable assets and purchase of equipment for public use.
He said that it is illegal to sanction MLA fund to individual, political party and church organisation.
He alleged that the MLA fund was sanctioned to ruling Congress workers, which is illegal and clear indication of corruption and said that the sanctioning of MLA fund for assistance of economically backward families, needy and sick people as claimed by Chanmari Congress unit was illegal.
The president further said that Prism would continue to inspect implementation of MLA local area development fund in different parts of the state.
Lal Thanzara resigned as a minister and legislator in 2015 in the wake of allegation that he held plethora of share in a Delhi based Company Sunshine Overseas. He was elected again in the by-election and was accorded Health & Family Welfare, Information & Public Relation and Information & Communication Technology department.