The state social justice and empowerment department has failed to spend over 60% of grants it received to construct Ambedkar Bhavans for dalits in all talukas of the state. This has come out in a reply to an RTI query filed by Kirit Rathod, RTI activist and programme coordinator of Navsarjan, a group working for dalit rights.
Demanding suspension of minister Fakir Vaghela, Rathod has revealed the financial details of the department to the governor, Dr Kamla. He alleged that one of the few scheduled caste ministers in Narendra Modi government, Vaghela is of no use in the welfare of the schedule caste community and should be removed from the post.
Information that Rathod could get through the RTI Act revealed that out of the total Rs16.17 lakh allotted for the construction of the Ambedkar Bhavans in the districts, Rs10.34 crore is lying unused.
Talking to DNA, Rathod said that it is very unfortunate that a dalit minister has failed to utilize funds meant for the welfare of the Dalits at the district level. The state government had made the provisions to construct these Bhavans since the financial year 2004-05, however, since then the department has failed in utilizing the funds.
The maximum fund was allotted in the year 2007-08 (Rs5.01 crore), while Rs2.56 crore has been kept unutilised for this year. The application had been submitted at the governor house on Monday.