Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Fund scam? ITIs in the midst of `22 crore controversy

n Employees cite illegalities, demand inquiry; say no account of 25% of State funding too

13th January 2019, 03:46 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI  

Alleging disappearance of Rs 22.5 crore from the Central government under the ‘Center of Excellence’ scheme to develop 10 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in Goa, the Goa Government ITI Employees Association (GGITIA) has asked for an inquiry citing a massive scam and several illegalities.   

They decried the disappearance of the money and other ‘illegalities’ which took place, before Deepak Desai from the Directorate of Women and Child Development was handed over additional charge as Director of the State Directorate of Craftsmen Training (SDCT) in November.   

In addition to the Central funds, an additional 25 per cent of State funding had also disappeared, members of the GGITIA alleged on Saturday and said ex-director Aleixo Da Costa was at the helm of siphoning off crores of rupees. They also claimed that ITIs in Goa were the most backward in the country as money meant for them was not being used rightfully.   

“The ex-director says there’s a shortage of funds... Where have all the funds gone?” questioned Anil Bhonsle, the president of GGITIA, addressing media at Panjim ITI. He alleged that Da Costa benefited tremendously from kickbacks he received as director, from purchasing equipment for the ITIs which was unnecessary or not as per specifications.   

Courses offered at ITIs outdated: Staff   

PANAJI: Staff members of the 10 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in the State under the banner ‘Goa Government ITI Employees Association’ have sent a proposal to the government for the introduction of new and relevant courses to be started at ITIs from June.   

Saying that the courses currently offered at ITIs were outdated and not all linked to employment opportunities in the State, Sayed Bashir, group instructor of ITI Vasco put forth on Saturday that if the government offered courses that trained students in the art of surveying, cosmetology, aviation, horticulture, refrigeration and air conditioning, these would help students get employment easily.   

“The courses we offer are in ‘old trades’ like fitting and turning, plumbing, welding,” said Bashir. “Students would also benefit from other courses, and we sent the proposal to the government two months ago, so they have a lot of time to scrutinise and grant approval,” he said.

EMPLOYEES CLAIM   

ITIs in Goa are most backward in the country; money not being used rightfully   

Money disappeared before Deepak Desai was handed over additional charge as Director SDCT   

Ex-director Aleixo Da Costa at helm of siphoning off crores of rupees   

Rs 25 lakh machine lying idle at the Cacora ITI   

Just Rs 2.5 crore of Vasco ITI remains untouched   

Several ITIs struggling with sub-standard equipment   

Unnecessary equipment and not as per specifications purchased