Ombudsman orders recovery of Rs 13 lakh misused under MGNREGS

Ombudsman orders recovery of  Rs 13 lakh misused under MGNREGS

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Ombudsman Sheena Shetty has ordered for a recovery of Rs 13,46,908 which was misused in the name of the scheme.

The Ombudsman has found that five works which were implemented were not approved by the authorities concerned and the work was executed using contractors and machines in place of manual work. The development work initiated has violated the guidelines of the MGNREGA. The recovered money should be deposited in the MGNREGA account.

The violation of rules relate to the construction of a compound wall to a private land in Neermarga gram panchayat in Mangalore taluk and construction of a compound wall to a house. The money utilised for the purpose is Rs 5,27,480. As per the rules, the work on a private land and construction of a compound wall to a house is not permissible.

Similarly, a retaining wall was constructed to a private English medium school in Gurpura limits by utilising the service of a contractor during 2012-13 and  2013-14. The total amount used is Rs 7,83,584. On the other hand, machines were used to level land in Kutruppady gram panchayat limits, which also amounts to violation of the guidelines. The amount spent on the work is Rs 35,844.

The Ombudsman has directed to deposit the amount within 30 days, failing which the officials concerned will be subjected to disciplinary action as per rules, the ombudsman said in his order.

During the inquiry conducted by the Ombudsman, panchayat development officers reportedly admitted in writing to the irregularities committed by them, and promised of depositing it to the account.

Already two officials of Neermarga gram panchayat have recovered and remitted Rs 25,000 from the concerned and deposited the same into NREGA account.

Member of Kutruppady gram panchayat Elsy Thomas, had complained to the Ombudsman relating to the irregularities committed within the limits of the panchayat under the act.

 A few villagers from Gurpur and Neermarga gram panchayats had also sent their complaints relating to violation of NREGA provisions in their villages.

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