TNIE Impact: Redress grievances of MGNREGA workers paid lower wages, orders Lokayukta
The New Indian Express published a story about workers employed under the MGNREGA at Kadoli village near Belagavi being paid a meagre Rs 100 as wages as against Rs 289 per day fixed by the government
BENGALURU: Following the publication of the story "Paid less wages, allege MGNREGA workers" by The New Indian Express on October 1, the Karnataka Lokayukta has initiated suo motu proceedings by considering it 'maladministration'.
"The object of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act is to redress the grievance of the public as a consequence of maladministration in the state administration. The payment of less wages to the workers, in my considered view, falls within the meaning 'maladministration' under Section 2(10) of the Act and as such the hardship or injustice caused to the workers on account of payment of less wages is required to be redressed," Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty said in the order.
The New Indian Express published a story about workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme at Kadoli village near Belagavi being paid a meagre Rs 100 as wages as against Rs 289 per day fixed by the government and the workers staged a protest in front of Grama Panchayat office on September 30, demanding that the concerned authorities pay their actual wages.
Treating it as source material to initiate suo motu proceedings, Justice Shetty directed the office to implead the Deputy Commissioner of Belagavi district, Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Panchayat, Belagavi, Executive Officer of Taluk Panchayat, PDO and President of Kadoli Grama Panchayat, Belagavi, as respondents and issue notice to them.
Directing them to examine the issue raised in the story and redress the grievance of the workers and submit the report in three weeks, he further ordered the Superintendent of Police, Lokayukta, Belagavi, to get an investigation conducted with regard to the officials responsible for payment of less wages to the workers and submit the report on November 9, 2021, the next date of hearing.
The Lokayukta noted that the story indicates that there is a maladministration on the part of the concerned authorities of the state in payment of wages to the workers, which requires investigation to fix the responsibility on the concerned officials who are in charge of executing work under MGNREGA, which is meant for eradicating unemployment in rural areas.
"No doubt, the story only highlights the less payment of wages to the workers, whose services are taken by Kadoli GP. Maybe similar things are happening in some other villages. Therefore, I am of the view, it would be in the interest of justice and protect the rights of the uncared section of the society for whose benefit MGNREGA is introduced. DC and CEO of ZP are directed to secure the details of the payments made under MGNREGA with reference to each Panchayat located in Belagavi district with regard to the actual work executed, payments made and with the details regarding the names and addresses of the workers to whom the payments are made," the Lokayukta said in the order.