the Bihar government has been spending over Rs 2.22 crore annually for 17 years on the salary of those employed in its small pox eradication programme though the world was declared free from the disease in 1984. The staff of the programme is getting salary for sitting idle, according to a media report. The state is also spending Rs 6 crore annually on employees associated with the implementation of a cholera prevention programme though the disease has never taken an epidemic form in the state during the past 20 years. A senior official of the state's health directorate attributed the wastage of public money to the non-introduction of multipurpose health workers' scheme. On conditions of anonymity, another official admitted that the state government had made thousands of irregular appointments against non-sanctioned posts. The Central Bureau of Investigation is currently examining such appointments in the wake of a Patna high court order.