The selection process of “Kayakabandhu” for the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has not been completed in the district despite the State government’s direction to the Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer.
“Kayakabandhu” should be selected by forming a group of 40 families possessing job cards. The “Kayakabandhu” should work along with other labourers in a project. The target was to select 1,665 “Kayakabandhus” in the district. However, as of now, only 850 have been selected. This includes Bantwal 40 (target was 509), Belthangady—184 (303), Mangalore—230 (315), Sullia—106 (284). In Puttur taluk, 290 have been selected.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, MGNREGA ombudsman Sheena Shetty said that the MGNREGA operational guideline has given permission to select Kayakabandhu. “One person should be selected for 40 to 50 households by forming a group. The person should have passed a minimum of fifth standard. Priority should be given for a woman and a disabled person while selecting “Kayakabandhu.”
As per the direction, Kayakabandhu should be given one-week training. In Dakshina Kannada, 116 were given training in August. “As the gram panchayats are facing shortage of manpower to create awareness on the MGNREGA and implement the work as per the demand, the State government had felt the need for selecting Kayakabandhus.
Many a time, the bill payments were delayed, following delay in measurement of the work,” said the circular issued to all the ZP CEOs by the Principal Secretary of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. Ombudsman said “if the Kayakabandhu is selected, then misappropriation can be avoided while implementing the scheme. There will be more transparency in the implementation of the scheme. The work will progress on its own without any hurdles.”
As per the circular, “Kayakabandhu should collect work list from the labourers in Form 6 and submit it to the respective Gram Panchayat/PDO and receive acknowledgement for the applications submitted. PDOs should clearly inform Kayakabandhu on how to mark the work area and carry out the work. If a PDO fails to provide employment within 15 days, then the Kayakabandhu can collect applications from his group seeking employment allowance, as per Section 7 of the MGNREGA.”
“He should maintain the attendance daily and ensure that the labourers are given facilities like drinking water at the work site. The service of Kayakabandhu can be used when technical officers measure the land for the work. He should fill NMR on the work taken up by his group and hold awareness camp for the group,” the circular said.
The MGNREGA ombudsman will organise MGNREGS month in December to create awareness on the Act. “The campaign aims at providing employment to at least 50 families who have not been covered in the scheme in all 203 gram panchayats. It will create awareness on gram and ward sabhas. The first step to implement the MGNREGA is a gram sabha.
The action plan should be prepared in a special gram sabha held in October and should be approved in the Zilla Panchayat, by December. Posters, banners will be used to create awareness,” he said.