NREGS activities in district come to a halt
By Shalet Jimmy | ENS - KOCHI
18th July 2012 09:55 AM
With the government yet to issue the proper guidelines for the district’s newly appointed National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(NREGS) Ombudsman, NREGS activities in the district have come to a standstill.
The intervention of the Ombudsman has put the NREGS activists in a dilemma whether to take up the work or not.
Recently, the statutory body had issued an order asking the Udayamperoor grama panchayat to stop the work as the owner of the site was not present at the spot during the occasion.
According to the MNREGS Act, the property owner should be present along with the workers.
“But that is not possible. In this case, the owner of the site is a doctor who is residing in Chennai, and it is impossible to ask for the presence of the property owner in such cases. The site had all the other requisites like job card, estimate of the work, muster rolls,” said an official with the Udayamperoor grama panchayat.
If the work comes to a standstill, the daily labourers of NREGS will be affected badly.
“It will decrease the number of man days. As the labourers are working for daily wages, there will be a fall in the amount they receive at the end of the month,” the official said.
The officials of the panchayat also find themselves in a soup as they cannot shirk off the instructions from both the Ombudsman and the Poverty Alleviation Department officials.
“We are bound to obey both the authorities: the Ombudsman and the district authority. If we stop the work as per the order issued by the Ombudsman, we are answerable to the authorities of the Poverty Alleviation Department for not being able to provide 100 days of working days to a family. Secondly, there will be action taken against us for poor performance,” said an official.
District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth said that the confusion existed as the state government is yet to issue proper guidelines for the functioning of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme Ombudsman.
“The work would be resumed soon. A decision has been taken in this regard in a meeting which was convened with the LSGD secretary on Thursday. It has properly stated the jurisdiction which could be given to this statutory body,” the collector said.
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