South 24 Parganas: A path through the paddy fields of the village. Metho Alpath. Surrounded by bushes. Some parts are submerged again. Villagers have to wade through knee-deep water. Official documents show this trail as a concrete road. The cost is shown to be more than 40 lakh rupees. And with that, the political debate is on the rise. The incident took place in Garankati village of Kautla Gram Panchayat of Mathurapur-2 block of South 24 Parganas.
The 100-day work project has been completed in several phases during the 2018-19 financial year, official documents state. However, the villagers claim that the road does not actually exist. The villagers approached the Calcutta High Court alleging corruption in the construction of this one-kilometer concrete road.
Last June, the Calcutta High Court ordered the BDO of the Mathurapur-2 block to investigate. Apart from the court, the villagers filed a written complaint with the District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Diamond Harbor, and BDO. If this road is built, the distance to the block office, hospital, and college will be reduced.
But at present the residents of the village are in trouble as the road is not built. Outgoing panchayat chief Basanti Sarkar, however, blamed the contractor. The local BJP and CPM leadership have moved against the Trinamool panchayat and ruling party leadership. Trinamool’s Kautla region president Jaydev Halder dismissed the allegations of corruption and accused the villagers of obstructing the road construction. BDO Nazir Hossain of Mathurapur-2 Block said that all the complaints are being looked into in the court order.