More than 15,000 cheques collected as donation for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya have bounced. The total face value of these cheques, collected by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other affiliated outfits, is nearly Rs 22 crore.

The matter came to light in an audit report by the ‘Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra’, a trust set up by the Government of India.

In the audit report, trust officials say the cheques bounced either due to insufficient funds or other technical issues such as overwriting and mismatch of signatures.

A member of the ‘Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra’ trust, Dr Anil Mishra said the body is working with banks to rectify the errors. The banks will give individuals whose cheques have bounced an opportunity to correct the errors, said Mishra.

Treasurer of the trust, Swami Govinddev Giri said that nearly 2,000 of the 15,000 cheques that have bounced were collected from Ayodhya itself. The other 13,000 cheques were collected from different parts of the country, he said.

“We are sending the bounced cheques back and appeal to those people to issue fresh ones,” said Swami Govinddev Giri.

The VHP and other affiliated outfits conducted a collection drive between January 15 and February 17 of this year seeking donations for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that donations amounting to Rs 2,500 crore were collected during this drive.

However, the ‘Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra’ trust is yet to release an official figure in this regard