BENGALURU: Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department outsourced work from its commissioner’s office to a non-existent company, the ‘office’ of which turned out to be a photocopying shop in Vijayapura while its Bengaluru office never existed.
The RDPR has hundreds of contractual workers supplied from various manpower agencies. The one in question is Megha Services Private Ltd, which supplied 67 people to work at the RDPR commissioner’s office and has been working for the department since 2014. The department is now holding a probe.
Under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 14 manpower agencies are working for RDPR. One of them is Megha Services which supplied people to the head office in Bengaluru (Commissionerate office of RDPR). These people work as data entry operators, technical staff and group D employees.
In December, when some of the staffers complained to the higher authorities about non-payment, the officials tried reaching Megha Services. But when they could not get through to them, RDPR officials went to the address mentioned by the company in the agreement.
“While the Vijayapura address turned out to be a xerox shop, the Bengaluru address was not found at all,” the RDPR said in a report, a copy of which is available with The New Indian Express.The report said out of 67 outsourced staffers, 48 were mentioned for receiving PF and ESI as paid by the company. But in reality, only 15 of them were given ESI cards. The staffers were not paid PF amount and the accounts of a few people were not even opened.
“We got to know this issue only after a few employees complained about irregular salary payments. We do not know yet if our officials are also involved,” a senior official said. Megha Services was awarded the tender for supply of manpower to RDPR in 2014. RDPR Commissioner Upendra Prathap Singh said they paid these consultancies on a monthly basis, which in turn pay the contractual employees.
“After this was brought to our attention, we tried reaching them at a couple of places. Finally, we issued a notice to them and asked them to produce PF and ESI amounts they paid on behalf of these employees. Some documents have been verified. Once the verification is complete, the file will come to me. We will then see if we can blacklist the agency,’’ he said.