'State lagging behind in NREGS implementation'

Only 22 per cent of the population in the district is being employed

taking stock: Zilla Panchayat assistant secretary Venkataramanappa speaking at the legal awareness workshop about NREGS organised for daily wage workers on Wednesday.  V Geetha, district unit general secretary of Janawadi Mahila Sangatane, K Neela, state president of the Sangatane, and G C Bayyareddy from the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha are also seen. dh photo

A legal awareness workshop  about NREGS was organised for daily wage workers by the Zilla Panchayat and the NREGS implementation committee.

Speaking at the workshop, state president of the Janawadi Mahila Sangatane K Neela opined that for the success of NREGS it was imperative to stop the use of machines and ensure that workers were paid their wages within a week.

“NREGS was introduced with the intention of providing work for the rural folk, so that they do not migrate into the cities looking for a livelihood. But a lot needs to be done before this goal is successfully met. Workers are not being paid on time for their work and the extensive use of machines has ensured that there is not much work left for the daily wage workers,” she lamented.

The farmers in the villages grow vegetables, but  they are not getting enough returns for their produce. The failing rains have also added to their worries, she said and added: “Even in situations like this, many of the farmers do not know that they could be employed under NREGS. There is a wrong notion that NREGS is only for daily wage
workers. This needs to stop.”

Even Zilla Panchayat president M Srinivas expressed his unhappiness about villagers not  being paid on time. He pointed that only 22 per cent of the population were being employed under the scheme and said that even the workers were responsible for this as they were lending their job cards to others.

“The wages provided under the scheme are being usurped by the rich in the name of the poor and laws need to be framed to prevent this. A vigilance team needs to be formed to ensure that the goals of NREGS are met and the funds are utilised in the right direction,” Srinivas suggested.

G C Bayyareddy from the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha informed that the state was lacking behind in the implementation of NREGS. “The other states have utilised the funds to the full extent and are successful in the implementation of the scheme. However, in our state the delay in the funds reaching the beneficiaries is the main drawback,” he added.

ZP member H Hanumanthappa, assistant secretary Venkataramanappa, Janawadi Mahila Sangatane, district unit general secretary V Geetha, D M Venkatesh, Gandhinagar Narayanaswamy, Suryanarayana were present.

Hundreds of daily wage workers, especially women,  from different taluks in the district participated in the workshop.

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