Tinsukia: The Assam government has “dissolved” the Dibrugarh Municipal Board (DMB) disqualifying all the 22 ward commissioners after a district administration inquiry and report of the director of municipal administration blew the whistle on corruption and irregularities going on in the civic body dominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to sources, principal secretary to the government of Assam, urban development department, Niraj Verma, has issued the order (No. UDD(M)/15 1/2009/358) and comes into immediate effect.
As per the order, the written reply of the chairperson of civic body Soma Chakraborty submitted in July this year was not found satisfactory, said sources, adding that the chairperson of DMB was asked to appear in person before the secretary to the government of Assam, urban development department, Dispur in Guwahati for a hearing on November 4 to give the board an opportunity of being heard as per the provision of Municipal Act, 1956.
“Accordingly, chairperson Chakraborty appeared in person and a statement on oath was taken where she ‘admitted’ that the ‘charges” were “true”, the order read.
The deputy commissioner of Dibrugarh and the director of municipal administration were conducting an inquiry on allegations against DMB including financial misappropriation, improper maintenance of main cash / log books for the office vehicles, improper maintenance of records of the assets of DMB, irregularities in leasing out of municipal parking places and advertisements and allotment of markets/ parking/ hoardings through illegal tendering process.
“In view of the above, the government observed that the DMB has persistently failed to perform its duties and responsibilities to the satisfaction of all concerned,” sources added.
Sources said, “The government of Assam in exercise of its power under section 298 of the Assam Municipal Act, 1956 has dissolved the DMB with immediate effect and directed the deputy commissioner of Dibrugarh to take the charger of the civic body.”
Confirming the development, deputy commissioner of Dibrugarh Pallav Gopal Jha said that he had called a meeting with DMB officials and employees on Tuesday to look into the issues civic body is facing. “Besides ‘swachhta’, my priorities will be ensuring proper functioning of traffic lights and streetlights and eradication of illegalities that may come to light.”
Responding to a question, Jha said that the inquiry reports speak in detail and point to the anomalies which are now before the government of Assam. “Now, that I am directly involved in the civic body affairs, I shall take strictest action to remove corruption and favouritism.”
Attempt to speak to the principal secretary of urban development department turned futile.