CENTRALLY SPONSORED JOB PROGRAM FOR RURAL AREAS: Eligible deprived, works allotted to contractors
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CENTRALLY SPONSORED JOB PROGRAM FOR RURAL AREAS: Eligible deprived, works allotted to contractors

In disregard to MGNREGA norms, rural development department (RDD) here has deprived the locals of the benefits under the centrally sponsored job program for rural areas.

In disregard to MGNREGA norms, rural development department (RDD) here has deprived the locals of the benefits under the centrally sponsored job program for rural areas.

An official alleged the department had illegally allotted various workers to the contractors instead of engaging the locals as envisaged under MGNREGA.

"The works like protection of bund and irrigation canal in Munad village of Bihibagh block are being carried out by using heavy machinery like JCBS and wet mixers," he said. 

"Usually it is the village Gram Sabhas which have to take call on any work to be executed under the MGNREGA. However, since the Sabha meeting hasn't taken place, in most of the cases authorities in league with village level workers (VLWs) and junior engineers of RDD have allotted these works to influential people," the official said.

The MGNREGA, which was implemented in J&K in February 2008, guarantees 100 days employment to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The guidelines clearly state that no machinery shall be used for construction under the program.

"The use of machinery and roping of contractors violate the very spirit of the program which is to create job opportunities for people in their own villages," said another official, confirming that not a single local MGNREGA job card holder has been employed in the ongoing works. 

Assistant commissioner development (ACD) RDD Hilal Ahmad confirmed that the rules have been flouted to allot the works to the contractors.

"We have received a complaint in this regard. I assure necessary action into the matter," Ahmad said.

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