IAS officer vows to lay bare MGNREGS truth

Bureaucrats usually clam up when media asks them pertinent or uncomfortable questions. But a top IAS officer has come forward to have open dialogue with the public on the much-debated Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the State.

The Rural Development Commissioner and in-charge of MGNREGS, Munish Moudgil, dashed off a letter to the media on Friday, stating that he would like to have regular feedback from them and the public on implementation of the scheme. He said he would also mail daily reports on the implementation of the scheme to the media.

The State had received Rs 1,440 crore in 2012-13 and is to receive Rs 2,133 crore in 2013-14 under the scheme. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in a report tabled in the Legislature last month, pointed out several lapses in the implementation of the scheme.

In his letter, 39-year-old Moudgil said that information on every payment under the scheme was available on  www.nrega.nic.in.

Besides, a toll-free number 1800 425 8666 has been operationalised and callers can seek information on demand for work, application for new job card and even register complaints.

District ombudsmen to hear and order all MGNREGS complaints/issues have been appointed in 29 districts. Their names, addresses, contact numbers, etc, will be made public soon through advertisements.

New initiatives to be taken up include wall writing of each payment made in 2012-13 to labourers on public walls of each village. Under the scheme, plantation of roadside trees is also planned and a target of 15,000 km in one year has been set. Nursery and preparatory activities have started, Moudgil added.

Further, rural tanks will be rejuvenated across the State and special focus would be given to public roads leading up to farmers’ lands, the officer stated.

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