Kendrapara: The Centre sponsored poverty alleviation scheme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has failed to live up to expectations of job card holders due to negligence in its implementation and apathetic attitude of the district administration and public representatives, a report said.
This coastal district lacks mines and industries for which agriculture is the mainstay of people. However, improper water management has shunted down the growth of agriculture in the district, reports said.
Farmers here often resort to distress sale due to lack of proper irrigation facilities, training and proper incentives. This has given rise to outmigration in the district in search of jobs outside the state.
The district administration had implemented the rural job scheme with a hope that it will provide livelihood to people and check migration. However, negligence in its implementation has failed to check the outmigration.
The district administration has planned to implement 65,326 projects in the district in this financial year. But, only 2,909 projects have been completed till now. Similarly, 2,93,009 people have received the job cards.
Of them, work has been provided to 61,211 job card holders. This is clear indication that the project has gone haywire in the district and failed to live up to the expectations.
According to details available from the office of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), as many as 65,326 projects like construction of Anganwadi centres, rural infrastructure projects, drought mitigation projects, Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras, coastal development, irrigation and water conservation projects are being executed in the district under the scheme.
Out of them, construction of 2,909 projects has been completed while 24,482 projects are still under construction. Over 23,379 projects have been sanctioned for implementation while 14,556 are yet to receive the approval.
It is pitiable that only 11 projects have been completed in Garadpur block while 4,231 projects are awaiting construction.
As many as, 7,117 job card holder families in Derabish block, 6,302 in Garadpur block, 6,503 in Kendrapara block, 8,313 in Mahakalapara block, 6,033 in Marshaghai block, 7,882 in Pattamundai block, 7,177 in Rajkanika block and 6694 in Rajnagar blocks have been provided with work.
A maximum of 46,301 job card holder families have received work for more than 100 days in Ganjam district while it is only 611 in Kendrapara district.
Farmer leaders Bidhubhusan Mohapatra, Umesh Kumar Singh, Gayadhar Dhal, senior residents Jagdish Pati, Chittarnjan Sahu and farmer Niranjan Parida said that the scheme has now become a law, but negligence of the district officials and public representatives has affected its implementation.
They alleged that the programme is marked by severe irregularities and fake work days are being created by engaging machines in the projects.
Moreover, the wages fixed for the labourers are quite low at this time of spiraling prices. The project works are not being expedited due to lack of coordination between the administrative officials and public representatives.
When contacted, Rajendra Panda, project director, DRDA said local problems are scuttling the smooth implementation of the projects while block level officials have been directed to speed up the project works and finish them on time.