89,895 job cards issued in DK but only 14,428 seek work

There was no demand for work from the card holders, says CEO

The job cards issued in the district are as follows: Puttur—15,699 (SCs-1632, STs-1169, others-12,898), Bantwal—23,767 (SCs-1152, STs-1703, others-20912), Belthangady—24,727 (SCs-2189, STs-1537 and others 21001), Mangalore—13681 (SCs-765, STs-379, others-12537), Sullia—12021 (SCs-1059, STs-962, others-10,000). According to the NREGA website, a total of 5,67,257 person days have been generated in the district.

According to the website, the total works taken up in the district is 29436 while works completed is 236 and works are in progress in 29,200 places.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Zilla Panchayat CEO P Shivashankar 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 or else we have to give them unemployment allowance.”

He said that a wage of Rs 100 a day being given under the scheme was far lower than the wages given elsewhere and some improvemnet had been achieved only after it was increased to Rs 125 from January, 2011.

In the recent Vigilance Committee meeting, Deputy Commissioner Subodh Yadav had said that there was no other scheme that was more important than this in rural areas and its implementation was being watched keenly across the country.

Shivashankar said “last year the APL families were allowed to undertake works under MGNREGS in their own land. Hence, lot of APL families had taken up the job. However, this year, the government changed its rule on APL family beneficiaries.”

However, several Gram Panchayat members allege that there was no minimum effort on the part of the officials to implement the scheme effectively. “No proper estimate is being prepared for the implementation of MGNREGS. There are few instances wherein the work was undertaken without preparing the estimate for the work. This delays in payment of wages for the labourers. Even the job card holders can not complain as no estimate has been prepared for the work. If the authorities try to provide one work in a year for the job holders, then lot of development works can be undertaken in the district,” Shivashankar added.

“As per the rules, Implementation Officers of MGNREGS should meet the job card holders and ask them on their problems while undertaking the work. However, this intercation meeting is missing in the district. In few Gram Panchayats like Munnur, people demand work under MGNREGS,” the Gram Panchayat members added. 

Ombudsman of Dakshina Kannada district under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act Sheena Shetty says those APL families who received land under Land Reforms Act, those who hold below five acre land can undertake development works under MGNREGS.
However, there is lack of information among the people on MGNREGS. “In few gram panchayats, job card holders demand the work and get the work done. Moreover, if the action plan for the next financial year is ready by December, the works can be started in April itself.”

Udyoga Mitra in every Gram Panchayat should mobilise the labourers to work.

Panchayats should get the proposal approved on time.

 Last year, till August, the proposals were not approved in the Zilla Panchayat meeting.
The CEO said “by March end, the work lists from all the Gram Panchayats will be ready. In fact, special gram sabha is being organised at the Gram Panchayt level to finalise the work list. Last year, we had prepared action plan for 60 per cent of the job card holders. However, only 30 per cent of the job card holders have come forward to take up the work.”

Though the proposed action plan for the MGNREGS during 2010-11 was Rs 9611.733 lakh, a sum of Rs 483.82032 lakh (till February) has been utilised.

To a query on lack of information on the scheme among the Gram Panchayat members, the CEO said: “We had organised a programme to create awareness among the Gram Panchayat members. However, not even 30 per cent of the Gram Panchayat members attended the meeting.”

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