New MGNREGA call centre flooded with queries

A day after the inauguration of the call centre, to enable queries and complaints made about issues related to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the State, at least 8,000 calls were made to the centre. Due to the heavy rush, eventually, the server crashed.

The eight-seater call centre with a toll free number: 1800-425-8666 - became operational on Monday. The centre is managed by Transact BPO, which operates from Yeshwantpur in the City.

Munish Moudgil, Director, MGNREGA, told Deccan Herald that the overwhelming response to the call centre has made the government scale up the operation of the centre to 20 seaters. “The call centre would soon have at least 20 people to handle the calls from across the State. The system will stabilise in the days to come. No less than 8,000 calls were received today. Due to the heavy rush, the server developed snag,” he said.

He said that anyone who wants a job under the MGNREGA can dial the toll-free number of the call centre and register their request by quoting the job card number. Even complaints pertaining to the implementation of the programme and non-payment of daily wage could be registered. Once the centre records the data, the information is transferred to gram panchayats concerned. In a week’s time, job card holder can get reply or solution at the call centre, he said.

The call centre, which has been opened on the Centre’s advice, would help in addressing certain problems faced by the department in making the scheme more effective.

“Now, we are receiving complaints that job seekers are not aware where the jobs are available. There are also complaints that those who are in need of a job are not getting employment in time. The call centre would address these problems as all queries have to be attended by gram panchayats within a week’s time.

It will also eliminate impersonators as wages are directly transferred to bank account of job card holder,” he said. Asked whether quoting the UID number would be made mandatory, Moudgil said that the UID numbers have been given only in Tumkur and Mysore districts. “It may take another five years for all the districts to be covered under the UID. So, quoting the job card number is sufficient.”

There are 52 lakh job card holders in the State. As per the MGNREG Act, a minimum of 100 days of employment is guaranteed for an unskilled labourer with a minimum wage of Rs 155 per day.

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