Dr K K Kaushik
Muzaffarpur: Mid-day meal (MDM) scheme fund has been allegedly misappropriated by a large number of schools in almost all the districts of Tirhut division of North Bihar. It was detected when the attendance register of students of the governments schools were tallied with the MDM register in these districts including Muzaffarpur.
In fact, misappropriation of MDM funds has allegedly taken place in 13 North Bihar districts. About fifty to sixty percent students in a large number of government schools 0were found non-existent when the attendance and MDM registers were tallied. The Regional Deputy Director Education (RDDE), Muzaffarpur, admits irregularities in the MDM scheme.
During inquiry conducted in 18 schools of Muzaffarpur, it was found that the presence of students on MDM register far exceeded their presence on attendance register. On the basis of fake attendance of students on MDM register, the principals of these schools were getting huge allotment of fund. So far schools in Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, West Champaran, Samastipur, Banka, Katihar, Madhepura, Begusarai, Jamui, Khagaria and Siwan districts have come under the purview of probe. In Muzaffarpur district, misappropriation of Rs 13 lakh has been detected so far while in Sitamarhi district the amount was Rs 16.31 lakh. In West Champaran Rs 24 lakh was allegedly misappropriated. The government has ordered for realisation of the misappropriated amount from the respective MDM heads.
District Programme Officer (DPO), Muzaffarpur, Nita Pandey, said the amount would be realised from the salary of the principals of the schools concerned and departmental proceedings would be initiated against them and FIR would also be lodged against them.