The Socio-Economic Caste Census (CECC), already running behind schedule, seems to have suffered another setback.
Majority of the data entry operators (DEOs) reportedly have pulled out of the CECC project claiming the private firm engaged in digital data entry has not paid their dues.
Sources said the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) - the Consortium of Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) - has outsourced the data entry operation of SECC project in the district to Hyderabad-based Karvy Data Management Services Ltd (KDMS).
It is learnt, the administration has divided the district into 4,476 enumeration blocks and appointed 1,120 government employees as ‘enumerators’ who are accompanied by as many DEOs from private sector carrying tablets (mobile computers) for immediate data entry.
The locally available DEOs were picked by KDMS with help of voluntary organisations and after training engaged them for the job with a promise to pay ` 3 for each household data entry.
Admitting the problem, Sundargarh ADM BB Behera said the date of project completion has to be extended till October-end, adding that they received numerous complaints against KDMS for non-payment to DEOs.
Officials engaged in the job informed that the census in 4,453 enumeration blocks has been completed and the remaining have to be completed without further delay for final report submission to the Central Government. The ADM said the Sundargarh-based official of KDMS has been summoned to sort out the issue, adding if the KDMS continues to be callous then it may face stern action, including criminal proceedings. The provisional figure of Census 2011 accounts for nearly 22 lakh population in the district and a correct CECC data would be crucial for effective implementation of poverty alleviation measures.