Over 3,000 families in the district that have registered for the UPA’s flagship programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), have not received their job cards in this financial year.
The issuance of the job card is among the first steps for a beneficiary to receive the guaranteed labour under the scheme. As per the report of the NREGS, 3065 families in the district who have registered for their job cards have not yet received them.
Under the norms, the job card has to be issued within 15 days from the day of registration. The card will have the details about all the adult members of a registered household who are entitled for the unskilled manual work. Once the household receives the job card, it is entitled to a total of 100 days of work a financial year. But in the absence of a household none of these processes can be put in place.
In Ernakulam district, the Parakkadavu block has the highest number of households which have not been issued job cards (765), followed by Pampakuda block with 565 households, Koovappady block with 547 households and Alangad with 347 households.
NREGS officials said this is largely owing to the reluctance of households to receive the job cards after registration.
“Since it is mandatory for us to provide the job cards after registration, they are usually generated here. But in several cases, families register for the scheme lured by its various benefits. But by the time they are generated and the household intimated to recieve the card, they lose interest and fail to come. Hence the number of persons who have not been issued the cards goes up,” said district project director of Poverty Alleviation Department N Vinodini.
It has to be noted that thousands of workers who have been allotted work under the scheme this financial year have failed to appear for work.
The district has as many as 10,31,361 workers who have failed to arrive for work for seven consecutive days after being allocated work in 2012-13.
But it should also be noted that non-issuance and delay in processing the job cards too are common in the district. Ernakulam has as many as 1978 job cards which have been delayed over 365 days, 1609 delayed between 181-365 days and as many as 21,586 delayed between 90-180 days in the financial year 2012-13.