GUWAHATI, Aug 22 - A huge scam in allotment of flats under the Assam State Housing Board (ASHB) � meant for providing housing facilities, mostly to the low-income groups � has made startling revelations, exposing the involvement of political bigwigs.
Billed as one of the biggest scams to be unearthed in the recent past, the housing allotment racket is all set to unsettle the nerve of those at the helm of affairs.
The scam has blown the lid off a murky racket involving a number of influential politicians and law-makers, besides journalists, contractors, businessmen and even employees (serving and former) of the Board, who had used their clout to illegally occupy several hundred flats, violating all norms.
A status report of the Board showing the latest position of rental buildings in different locations of Guwahati has shown that the �influential lot� has even managed to get multiple allotments up to five flats against a single name at the cost of the honest taxpayers, who never seem to make the cut for the allotment.
�A number of names with more than one allotment (two/three/four) have also come to the fore, showing the intensity of the corruption. This illegal act is now a known fact. There are also instances where allotment is made to different members of the same family,� the report stated.
The report also exposed how several hundred illegal allotments (all the names are available) were made in the last few years depriving the common man.
As per rule, no person can be given allotment for more than one flat against his or her name and neither can any allotment be given to persons who already own a house in Guwahati.
The startling expose in the allotment process suggests that hundreds of fake and illegal allotments had been made to individuals who managed to bribe the officials concerned in lakhs.
�The scam, amounting to several crores of rupees, just exposes the level of corruption and lack of any monitoring. At a time when the common man is finding it hard to get a shed over his head, multiple allotments have been made to people against huge amounts of money. Many allotments were given to those who already own a house in Guwahati,� sources told this reporter.
One such violator is former Member of Parliament (MP) Bhubaneswar Kalita, who, in spite of having a house in his name under Guwahati Municipal Corporation ward number 19 and under Holding No 10544430 (new) bearing house number 20, too has an allotment against his name, which amounts to gross violation of the rules.
The report showing the status of rental housing complexes at Bhetapara, Chandmari Colony, Krishna Nagar, Hengerabari, Ghoramara, Borsojai, Kalimandir (Bhetapara), Kharguli and Maligaon, has also exposed that people after getting allotment, have even sold off the flat at a higher price contrary to the rules.
Dijen Sarma, Chairman of the Board, when contacted, said all such allotments were made prior to his taking charge and that in spite of a few of the illegal allottees being served notices, they refused to oblige.