Residents of the district have accused officials of the Dingidhar panchayat of not being of any help to people seeking jobs under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) for the past two months. Under the centrally sponsored welfare scheme, village panchayats and other state bodies are bound to provide gainful employment to anyone who is eligible within fifteen days of receiving an application, failure to do which will entitle the applicant to get unemployment benefits.
Sharda Devi, a member of the block development committee and the gram panchayat, who had earlier filed a written complaint with the deputy commissioner, urging him to look into the matter, said: “Though more than 18 people had applied for a job under the NREGA scheme two months ago the panchayat officials have yet to provide them employment.
Many of the poorer residents in this panchayat have no other avenue of earning their livelihood and are solely dependent on jobs under NREGA to keep afloat”.
However, the head of the Dingidhar gram panchayat, Parvati Devi, refuted the residents’ allegations as “baseless” and claimed panchayat officials had indeed provided jobs to those who had applied “from time to time”. “I’ll look into the matter and personally see to it that all eligible residents seeking a job will be provided one as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar asked the panchayat officials concerned to redress the residents’ grievances and provide jobs to eligible applicants within the stipulated time.