MGNREGS rules tightened, progress dips

109 out of 203 GPs have not started works under the scheme this year

This year, 109 Gram Panchayats out of 203 in the district have seen no works under the scheme. Only Rs 97.96 lakh has been spent in the district from April to October this year, as against Rs 22 crore spent during  2009-10. Surprisingly Rs 12 crore was spent only in October last year.

Statistics of Zilla Panchayat state that out of 47 Gram Panchayats in Bantwal taluk, no works have started in 11 GP. The situation in 29 out of 49 GPs in Mangalore taluk is no different. In Puttur, only four GPs out of 37 panchayats have started works leaving 33 devoid of the scheme. Sullia taluk has three GPs where works have started. Remaining 24 GPs have not started the works. Belthangady Taluk has 43 GP, of which 16 have not started works while rest of them have some works going on.

Taking note of the issue, Zilla Panchayat CEO had issued a circular to Taluk Panchayat Executive Officers, Panchayat Development Officers, Secretaries and District level implementation officers on September 9, asking them to ensure effective implementation of the scheme. However, the officials have not paid any heed to this circular yet.

Speaking to Deccan Herald Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer P Shivshankar said that though there has been a set back in implementation of the scheme, the Zilla Panchayat would like to look at it from a different perspective and call the growth this year as a ‘healthy growth’.

He says that the progress achieved last year can be called ‘unreal’ because it was  achieved after relaxing and bending the rules to the maximum.

“Initially the State government emphasised on numbers and going by this stand of the government we, the officials convinced the people, relaxed rules and got the works done. Now that numbers are soaring high, State government has decided to delegate works only to those people who genuinely have interest to take up works under the project,” CEO said.  

He further elaborated that with the relaxation of rules, district saw several cases of misuse of the funds as well and hence now the government has decided to tighten the rules.

“Once the news of government tightening the rules spread, people started crowding to undertake the works. Hence Rs 12 crore was spent in one month itself, last year,” he said adding that the drop in number of works comes as a reprucussion to strict rules and reduction of wage from Rs 125 to Rs 100 per day.

However, he says that he has set a target of spending Rs 12 crore in the district this year.

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