Ombudsman recovers ` 21.53 lakhs

Ombudsman for Dakshina Kannada district for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has received 96 complaints from 51 gram panchayats on the loopholes in the implementation of MGNREGS, delay in payment of wages, violation of the Act since August 2010.

As many as 37 cases were reported in 2010-11, 51 cases in 2011-12 and eight cases till August 2012. A sum of Rs 21,53,804 has been recovered and deposited to the state treasury, of which, a sum of Rs 20,88,804 was in connection with the embezzlement of funds. A sum of Rs 65,000 has been collected as fine from the officials who were responsible for the misuse of funds.

As per the available reports, 15 Gram panchayat secretaries, 31 PDOs, 19 taluk-level officials and two gram panchayat employees were found violating the guidelines related to MGNREGS in 96 complaints.

About 11cases are concerned with misappropriation of funds, 14 complaints were related to denial of employment for the job card holders, one was related to denial of employment cards for the beneficiaries. Two complaints were related to loopholes in action plan prepared by the officials, two related to misuse of employment cards, two was on violation of MGNREGS Act including failing to install dynamic boards, provide information on the work taken up etc, 43 were related to delay in payment of wages, 20 related to misappropriation.

The ombudsman has recommended five departmental enquiry against the erring officials. The Ombudsman has received highest complaints from Mangalore taluk. As many as 45 complaints have been received followed by Bantwal taluk—23, Belthangady—19, Puttur—4 and Sullia—4. Warnings have been issued to the officials in 34 cases.

Guidances have been given in eight cases. The Ombudsman has received complaints from Balpa, Markanja, Hariharapallathadka, Bilenele, Mundoor, Shiradi, Aithoor, Puduvettu, Maladi, Kaliya, Nidle, Kaniyoor, Barya, Mithabagilu, Marodi, Kalmanja, Andinje, Kotekar, Konaje, Neermarga, Beluvai, Mucchur, Thenka Mijar, Talapady, Paduperar, Kuppepadav, Harekala, Edapadav, Kandavara, Balkunja, Aikala, Alike, Panjikallu, Sajipamooda, Perne, Karopady, Kanyana, Pervai, Vittal and Kavalapadoor.

As many as four workshops have been conducted in the district along with 287 camps on the scheme in the last two years.

There was a perception that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) will not work in Dakshina Kannada district. But two year down the line, many families are seeing it as an opportunity to improve their livelihood by developing their land holdings through the scheme, said Ombudsman Sheena Shetty to Deccan Herald.

“Media played a vital role in reporting the misappropriation of the scheme. Technical officer of MGNREGS Sanjeeva Naik and Jana Shikshana Trust Director Krishna Moolya have also played a role in unearthing the cases,”  he says.

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