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NREG: Block pramukhs resent exclusion

THE NATIONAL Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREG) being implemented in the district is facing resentment from the newly elected block pramukhs. Though the implementing agency for this scheme is the block development office, still the pramukhs have been kept away from the scheme. Earlier, they had a say in various schemes and even got a share. Now in NREG, the account will be singly operated by the block development officer leaving little chance for arm-twisting tactics of the public representatives.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 01:17 IST

THE NATIONAL Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREG) being implemented in the district is facing resentment from the newly elected block pramukhs.
Though the implementing agency for this scheme is the block development office, still the pramukhs have been kept away from the scheme. Earlier, they had a say in various schemes and even got a share. Now in NREG, the account will be singly operated by the block development officer leaving little chance for arm-twisting tactics of the public representatives.

“We are not doing this on our own. It is the directive from the government,” said DRDA project director Javed Zaidi. Though no block pramukh has said anything openly, they are to decide their future course of action soon. “We have made so many promises during our poll campaign, people expect a lot from us, so it is strange we do not have any say in it,” says a newly elected pramukh. As per the orders, this scheme will take over all the schemes implemented through the block development office.

SJRY, SRY and other infrastructural schemes have been abolished with it now, which is enough to give sleepless nights to the block pramukhs who have spent a fortune in their campaigns. They have started informal parleys between themselves for deciding the future course of action. The right of selection of projects has gone to the gram panchayats.

A vigilance committee consisting of members from panchayat level will be formed for monitoring the scheme. Meanwhile, the administration has completed the ground work for implementation of the scheme. Till March 13, the number of applications for registration stood at 75,475, while 60,143 households had been registered for work. The distribution of card albeit is a cause of worry, with only 16,574 job cards distributed so far. Interestingly, just 7,12 applications have been received demanding work. This just shows the lackadaisical attitude of the field staff in collecting data and registration.

Already the chief development office is receiving complaints. When CDO CK Pandey visited Bangava village in Rudaui block, the report submitted to him did not tally with the ground reality. The villagers were not even aware of any such scheme though their names were in the list. Taking a strong note of it, the village development officer (VDO) was suspended and adverse entry was given to the Block Development Officer (BDO).

A total of 196 projects have been shortlisted in the first phase of the scheme. A magazine ‘Gramin Bharat’ will be published regarding the details of the scheme. The Central Government is giving it the ‘most focused attention’ (MFA) status. Directives have been issued to the district administration to keep the records tidy .


First Published: Mar 20, 2006 01:17 IST