PATNA: Besieged by scams, Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar has decided to crack down on the bureaucracy. At the end of the first phase of his Seva Yatras, he has declared that one day in a week would be earmarked as MGNREGA Day. On that day the district magistrates would send officials to one panchayat each to review various development works. The exercise would be repeated in the second week for other panchayats. However, the same official would not be sent again to the panchayat he visited earlier.
Nitish feels an element of surprise is necessary if bureaucrats are to be accountable in MGNREGA. All district magistrates would ensure that officials are informed about their destination only an hour before departure. The official’s main mission would be to analyse ongoing development work in panchayats and submit their reports to the DM. If any complaints are found valid, the DMs will act against any employee against whom the report is submitted.
According to Nitish’s policy, DMs are not required to visit panchayats and need to do only a review of completed MGNREGA schemes. Rozgar Sevaks would be present during all review meetings and provide supporting documents. If they fail to do so, FIRs would be lodged against the sevaks and they would be sent to jail. SSPs and SPs will direct all SHOs concerned to be present during the panchayat-level review meetings.
The Chief Minister wants all schemes in all the panchayats in each district should be reviewed and the social auditing completed in four months. According to him, this exercise would help check corruption in MGNREGA. Nitish is reportedly worried that Patna’s ranking is lowest in Mid-day meal scheme and 26th in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Patna division Commissioner K P Ramaiah and Patna DM Sanjay Kumar have been directed by the Chief Minister’s office to give special attention to better implementation of these schemes.