The Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) has misused funds amounting to Rs 178 crore designated for the Meidum-Hortoki road excavation project, according to a report by Eastmojo. Rs 44 crore was allocated for Phase I and Rs 133 crore for Phase II. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) had given the money as a loan to facilitate the development of roads.
The Congress Vigilance Cell also submitted a First Information Report (FIR) over the alleged misappropriation of funds to the Mizoram Lok Ayukta. The cell also raised questions about the misuse the funds meant for road excavation.
The contract was given to RV Hluna from Edenthar for the initial phase, whereas for the second phase, the contract was assigned to Zoramchhana.
RTI documents show that the road excavation project was supposedly done to study the nature of underground soil and the need for large-scale transportation modes. This was a requirement by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The Congress alleges that ONGC stopped its search for oil and gas in Meidum-Hartawki on October 7, 2015. ONGC's equipment was subsequently relocated to Srikona, Silchar. This is in line with the information contained in the Directorate of Geology & Mining Annual Report for 2022-23, Chapter D-(2), which states that the ONGC no longer provides a Petroleum Exploration License Fee to the Mizoram government.
Congress stated that the wasteful expenditure on the project raises questions about the state government's conduct.
Assembly polls for the 40-member assembly are slated to take place later this year.