Jajpur: The government has laid stress on effective execution of projects under the rural job scheme like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) so as to ensure jobs to poor rural populace. But massive irregularities have allegedly defeated the purpose of the MGNREGS in many cases in Jajpur district, a report said.
According to the report, lack of monitoring and slow pace of investigation in the cases of irregularities has allegedly encouraged contractors to mess up the projects and mint money. In most cases, machines are used while wages of job card holders are misappropriated in names of forged job card holders.
Even in some cases, funds have been sanctioned twice for one project. An MGNREGS project being executed in Tarakote and Dhaneswar panchayats under Korei block is such instance.
In 2018-19, Rs 2 lakh of Fourth Finance Commission has been sanctioned for desiltation of Hata Gadia pond (under MGNREGS) in Tarakote panhchayat. A plaque having such details is set up at the pond. Its work is being done by machines.
Surprisingly, another plaque has been set up near it. The plaque says, Rs 3 lakh has been sanctioned for the same project under MGNREGS in 2018-19. It also claims that job card holders are being paid Rs 303 per day. But there is mention of its date of start and deadline, project code. Even people do not know from where the fund Rs 3 lakah has been sanctioned. It was alleged that influential people of the panchayat are involved in the scam.
Another scam was reported from Sanaputuli in Dhaneswar panchayat. Rs 3 lakh has been sanctioned for plantation around a playground in 2020-21. The fund has been misappropriated without any plantation, local alleged.
Many local organizations alleged that people and officials were involved in these irregularities from top to bottom and from file moving to making bills.
This correspondent tried to contact BDO Sweta Snighdha on her cell phone, but she did not pick up the call.