(Naina J A | DH News Service) Mangalore: April 2, 2013
The UPA government’s flagship programme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which aims at 100 days work for an individual, still holds a promise for rural people despite allegations of misuse of funds in the scheme.
In fact, 551 households have completed 100 days work in the Dakshina Kannada district in the last one year as on March 30, 2013.
According to the information available on the website, 13 households in Puttur, 218 in Bantwal, 91 in Belthangady, 178 in Mangalore and 51 households in Sullia taluk have completed 100 days work. Last year, 906 households were given 100 days employment in the district. Though the authorities have issued job cards to 76,851 households in the last one year, employment has been provided to 16,208 households with 40,816 individuals.
In the last one year, work worth Rs 11.93 crore have been taken up under the scheme. A sum of Rs 3.62 crore has been utilised in Bantwal taluk, Rs 2.67 crore in Belthangady taluk, Rs 2.53 crore in Mangalore, Rs 1.16 crore in Puttur and Rs 1.57 crore in Sullia taluk. The total availability of fund was Rs 12.96 crore.
According to officials, “the payment due is Rs 2.02 crore. We have already written to the government to release additional Rs two crore to make the pending payment.”
Maximum work has been provided to 455 households with 1,153 persons in Nidle gram panchayat in Belthangady followed by Kolnadu wherein employment has been provided to 1073 individuals. Padupanambur gram panchayat in Mangalore taluk has provided employment to only two families with six members. Employment has been provided to seven individuals from two families in Naringana gram panchayat.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, ombudsman Sheena Shetty said “unlike previous years, there was no miracle wherein work worth several crores taken up in March during this year. There were no major complaints of misappropriations of funds during the year.
However, owing to the lack of technical officers, there have been a few procedural lapses in implementation of the scheme. There are a few instances wherein the work was undertaken without preparing the estimate. This delays payment of wages for the labourers. Even the job card holders cannot complain as no estimate was prepared for the work. If the authorities try to provide one work in a year for the job holders, then a lot of development work can be undertaken in the district.”
Gram Panchayat PDOs said “there was no demand for work from the job card holders. We can give them employment only if they demand. Once they submit applications seeking work, we will have to give them work within 15 days.”