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A Costly Lesson from Uttar Pradesh

When officials connected to the National Rural Health Mission are murdered, there is clearly something wrong.

Massive financial irregularities continue to be unearthed as the implementation of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in Uttar Pradesh (UP) is being investigated, exposing fatal flaws in this flagship programme of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The problems include the absence of monitoring as well as a checks and balances mechanism. The much-vaunted decentralisation of services in NRHM seems to have been translated into a licence to ignore monitoring altogether. Introduced in 2005-06, the NRHM was designed to cater to the rural population. It is slated to wind up in 2012. Before it does, many serious questions have to be asked about the way the scheme is being implemented.

The developments in UP illustrate the complete disregard for the law by those implementing the programme. In the last one year, two chief medical officers and one deputy chief medical officer have been murdered allegedly in connection with the fraud unofficially estimated at Rs 3,700 crore.

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