Jajpur: MGNREGS is aimed to ensure job opportunities for rural workers through various labour-intensive projects, but the central scheme has been marred at different places of Jajpur district due to alleged irregularities. Job card holders had worked in an MGNREGS project 10 years ago in Bari block, but their wages have not been paid till date, a report said.
According to the report, the scam was reported from Mahakalpada panchayat under Bari block. Irregularities were also allegedly committed in an MGNREGS project in Siha panchayat under Barchana block.
About 10 year ago, a pond was excavated in plot-no-1457(khata-104) at Mahakalpada panchayat. Eleven labourers engaged in the project have not yet received their wages.
One Purna Chandra Sahu on behalf of the labourers had moved a PIL (WP©17859/2013) in the Orissa High Court in this regard.
The HC has recently directed the Jajpur Collector to ensure payment of wages to the 11 labourers. As per guidelines, labourers are supposed to be paid their wages once in a week through their bank accounts.
But labourers awaiting wages for the last 10 years has raised many eyebrows. It is alleged that no action was taken against the sarpanch, the VLW and the GRS who were allegedly involved in the scam. Some influential people are allegedly creating hurdle in action again the guilty.
The MGNREGS is significantly aimed at providing jobs to rural poor though creation of work scope, thus keeping poverty at bay.
But scams have defeated the purpose of the scheme in the district, it was alleged.
In the PIL, it was stated that the then sarpanch of Mahakalpada had issued a work order to Purna Chandra Sahu to dig Mo Pokhari pond under MGNREGS April 4, 2010. Eleven labourers were engaged in the work. The project was completed June 14, 2010.
The labourers had given their signatures in the muster roll with the promise of wages to be cleared within seven days.
After two years, the labourers sought information about their wages from the Bari block through RTI queries.
The RTI papers revealed that there were no muster roll and labourer document for the wage clearance.
Later, the Vigilance and the block administration investigated the issue and detected misappropriation of wages. The BDO initiated departmental proceedings against the officials involved in the scam. Still then, the wages were not cleared. The complainant moved the court in 2013.
The BDO could not be contacted over phone for comment.