MGNREGS: Information boards must

Though the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) started five years ago in the country, only recently the need for installation of information boards was realised. Now the MGNREGS Director P Shivashankar has issued a circular to all the Zilla Panchayats to make installation  boards or ‘Dynamic Boards’ mandatory.

 
Accordingly, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat CEO Dr K N Vijayaprakash in a letter dated December 2, 2011, to all the Taluk Panchayat EOs has urged to make the information boards compulsory in all the gram panchayats. 

The letter has also urged the officials to see that every gram panchayat takes steps to install a board in a public place highlighting the muster roll and payment of wages to the labourers every month. Measures should also be taken to install individual boards at all the work areas. “If there are no information boards, then it would amount to the violation of guidelines of MGNREGS and a fine of Rs 1,000 could be levied on the authorities concerned for violating the rules under MGNREGS section 25,” said the letter.
 Though the circular had urged all the Gram Panchayats to complete the process of installing information boards and individual boards before December 15, 2011 it was not implemented effectively in the district. To boost the work on installation of individual boards, a meeting of the EOs and district officials was held under the presidentship of ZP CEO on Monday, to urge the officials to initiate measure to install information boards in all the gram panchayats. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, MGNREGS Ombudsman Sheena Shetty said  “the entire idea of installing the information boards is to bring in transparency in implementation of work.” Bantwal taluk has become model by installing information boards in all the 47 Gram Panchayats. In fact, two gram panchayats namely Balthila and Peruvai have also installed individual boards at the sites where the work under MGNREGS was taken up,” he said. 

He said in the meeting that a few authorities informed the Ombdusman that the individual boards are taken away by the miscreants after installation. However, the Ombudsman said that if the authorities install individual board and take the photograph of the same and keep it along with the files pertaining to the MGNREGS work, then it would become a document for future. 

To a complaint from Kuppepadavu on not installing individual boards and information board, the Ombudsman has imposed a fine on the official concerned, who in turn has promised to complete the work within 15 days. 

“If we receive complaints on not installing the information boards, we will fine the authorities concerned,” said the Ombudsman. 

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