Irregularities in NREGS: Villagers lock up ZP, TP officials

Hosahudya villagers vent their ire over inaction

Irregularities in NREGS: Villagers lock up ZP, TP officials


They locked-up officials were denied of food and water and the keys of their vehicles were also snatched away from them.
Inspite of sufficient proof and records to prove the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the NREGS scheme, so far, no action had been taken on the erring persons. Angered by the callous attitude of the officials concerned, the villagers resorted to protest. They shouted slogans against the officials and at one stage, the protest turned violent.

The police had a hard time in controlling the mob, which had turned furious. The premises of the Government Primary School, where the protest was being held, resembled a war zone.
Labourers from the poor families, dalits, farmers and others members took part in large numbers. Tense situation prevailed for some time, as the mob turned frenzy, with continuous shouting and yelling. Chaotic situation prevailed, while the officials were left confused.

Background
The village members of Hosahudya had received Job Cards under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which was being implemented in the village. Later on, these villagers had also opened accounts in the Banks and Post Offices, to collect their payments. They also toiled day and night. But they were in for a rude shock when they realised at the end of the month, that the payments were not made and the accounts were totally empty.

When the officials concerned visited the village and inspected the project work, the irregularities came to light, which left the villagers frustrated. When the villagers realised that lakhs of rupees had drained off and someone else had minted money in their names, they were furious.

The job cards which are distributed among the villagers also carry the names of their family members. However, in the Panchayat records, more names have been illegally included. If the villagers have worked for 25-30 days, it is entered as 100-120 days in the records. If two persons from a family attended the work, then names of six persons are illegally included in the records. Fake accounts have also been opened and the money has been siphoned off to ‘illegal persons’ instead of genuine beneficiaries. Thus irregularities to the tune of lakhs of rupees has taken place, without the knowledge of the village members.

Detailed inquiry
Irked by all these issues, the villagers of Hosahudya resorted to protest. President of Hosahudya Youth Congress H S Narendra has urged the officials concerned to initiate action against the erring persons. He said, it had been reported that an amount of Rs 23 crore had been spent so far under the NREGS scheme in Bagepalli taluk. The villagers are of the opinion that such irregularities could have taken place elsewhere also, in the taluk. Hence, a detailed inquiry was necessary in this regard, he demanded.

The villagers also demanded the officials concerned to conduct a criminal case against the erring persons, who were involved in the irregularities, and also sought that the payment dues to the genuine beneficiaries should also be made. The protest continued till the evening.
DH News Service

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