Sajanagad/Khaira: To ensure livelihood opportunities for local people and migrants, both the Central and the state governments have attached much importance to MGNREGS especially during the lockdown period.
Sadly, this concern of the government has allegedly been ignored during execution of projects under MGNREGS in Sajanagad and Khaira areas of Balasore district.
According to a report from Sajanagad, a canal work from Ayodhya-Aradi Road Banabhuin Chhak to Kumudiha under Nilagiri block has been executed with machines under the MGNREGS.
Scores of local people, who have been facing shortage of work, were deprived of their rights. It was alleged that no information plaque about the cost of the project and other details has been put at the project site.
Villagers demanded an impartial probe into the allegation and stern action against the contractor.
They pointed out that scores of labourers are sitting idle for want of jobs in the area.
The villagers observed that use of machines has impacted the earnings of the poor in the area who depend on MGNREGS for livelihood. There were instances of machines being used and fake rosters of workers being made under MGNREGS projects in the past.
“A lot of workers do not get the work and wages they deserve. If machines are allowed for the work, it would only benefit the contractors,” they noted.
When asked about the irregularity, Gram Rozgar Sevak Sudhansu Rout admitted that the work has been executed under MGNREGS while machines were used to carry on the work at night.
Another report from Khaira said that massive irregularities were committed in a pond renovation work at Sundhira panchayat. Locals demanded a vigilance probe into the irregularities.
They have intimated the issue to the Vigilance SP, the Collector and the BDO.
A sum of Rs 10 lakh has been provided from the 4th Finance Commission for renovation of a pond in front of Sundhira Akhandaleswar temple.
The work was botched up while officials are attempting to get away the bill of Rs 8 lakh.
They alleged that many officials and people’s representatives are involved in the irregularities.
The villagers warned of agitation if no step is taken against those involved in the irregularities.
BDO Debendra Prasad Bal said that after receiving a complaint in this regard, the bill has been put on hold. The next course of action will be taken after an investigation, he added.