Mandya: 1.35 lakh labourers yet to be paid under MNREGA

Several works taken up stalled owing to lack of volunteers

With the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme facing fund crunch, about 1.35 lakh labourers of the district have not been paid wages since several months.

As many as 1,35,602 people have worked for the months of May, June and July. Each worker has to be paid Rs 191 per day. It has become a routine for these workers to visit gram panchayats every day with a hope of getting paid.

Apart from the wages, bills amounting to Rs 2.17 crore for the materials procured for the construction of toilets and other works are also pending and has left the shopkeepers fuming.

The labourers claim that as per the norms, wages have to be paid within 15 days of completion of works.

Agriculture Labouers Association district unit president M Puttamadu said the pending bills under MNREGA in the State was Rs 600 crore. Mandya district had an arrears of Rs 16 crore yet to be disbursed. Around 30 labourers of Basaralu gram panchayat in Mandya taluk have not been paid since five months.

Several works to be taken up under MNREGA have been stalled, especially with the labourers hesitating to volunteer to take up the job, says Puttamadu.

No work

Yashodamma, one of the workers said that she had worked under the scheme for desilting of Thimmanakatte lake for a month, but she was yet to be paid.

She complained that around 28 people had applied for the work on February 7, but they had not received any response. “The officials have been assuring that we will be paid soon,” she said.

Zilla Panchayat CEO Rohini Sindhuri said that the matter had been brought to the notice of the higher officials. There was confusion over the continuation of the scheme by the new government in the Centre and there was delay in releasing funds. However, funds would be released soon, she added.

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