The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has taken strong exception to lack of response from the State Government on irregularities detected in the implementation of MGNREGS.
Calling for the action taken report (ATR) against the erring officials, the MoRD, in a recent communique to the State Government, has sought for compliance to the objections raised by an officer of the ministry. Deputy Secretary of MoRD BC Behera visited Sambalpur district during last week of June to review the implementation of Indira Awas Yojana. Several people from Kuchinda block of the district complained of non-payment of wages under MGNREGS for more than a year.
“During my interaction with project director, DRDA, Sambalpur, he confirmed the non-payment of wages to workers. He could not provide any satisfactory reply for this,” Behera reported to the ministry. Earlier, Behera had also brought to the notice of the MoRD serious lapses in the implementation of the rural job scheme in the district. He was on a two-day tour to the district in September last year to review the MGNREGS works. “As per the MIS (management information service) report, there has been delayed payment to workers ranging between two months and one year,” he said in his October 2011 report to the ministry.
While detecting payment delay of more than a year in Kuchinda block, the MoRD officer said payment to some workers was not possible as the BDO did not hand over the records to his successor after being transferred from the block.
The BDO of Kuchinda block told Behera that the payment could not be released to the workers as the works were not part of the labour budget approved by the Government. The district administration was trying to find out a solution to the problem, the BDO had said.
There was no corresponding match between muster roll and measurement book to verify the payments made to the labourers, Behera said and added a case of forged muster roll was reported. “Name of a seven-year-old girl student Sita Kumari figured on the muster roll and payments made to her were withdrawn,” he said and recommended criminal action against the erring officials. On the construction of a Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra in Jamankira block headquarters, the MoRD officer said he got the impression that the building was constructed through a contractor.