Complaints galore over irregularities in NREGS in Uttar Pradesh

Complaints galore over irregularities in NREGS in Uttar Pradesh

Complaints galore over irregularities in NREGS in Uttar Pradesh

Helpline’s findings substantiate Rahul Gandhi’s allegations

According to officials, a majority of the complaints were about denial of work and non-payment of dues to labourers for the jobs done under the scheme.

Villagers have also complained of a nexus between the village pradhans, bankers, the government officials and a large number of intermediaries who “enjoy” the patronage of politicians, said an official of the department.

“Within days of setting up the helpline, over 25,000 complaints of irregularities in NREGS have been received,” he said. The complaints expose the government’s claims of providing an average 75 days’ employment to the poor families in the financial year 2008-09. “The average does not cross 54 days,” he said. A large number of complaints has been received against bank managers. “It is impossible to open accounts without bribing the bank managers,” the complaints pointed out.

In many places, labourers were also beaten up by the henchmen of the officials and intermediaries when they demanded their stipulated wages, the official said.

Such reports have been received from Hardoi, Sitapur, Mau, Varanasi and Kushi Nagar districts. In some places, even government officials were involved in harassing the poor.
The officials admitted that with one lakh projects running at a time, the size of the NREGS in the state had grown so huge that quality control and ensuring transparency had become very difficult.

The state government has issued instructions to the district magistrates to publish advertisements in local newspapers giving complete details of the works done under the NREGS, the employment generated and the payments made to the poor, the officials said.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has on several occasions during his visit to the state alleged large-scale corruption in the implementation of NREGA.Even during his recent visit to his Lok Sabha constituency, Amethi, a few days ago, he had told mediapersons that he had received many complaints of non-payment of wages to labourers for the jobs they had done under the scheme.

Although the state government firmly rejected Rahul's allegations, it has been “shocked” and “surprised” by the large number of complaints and is contemplating measures to check the irregularities.