Petition alleges bungling in MGNREGA works by block president

Petition alleges bungling in MGNREGA works by block president

HC seeks government response, directs for proper implementation of scheme

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed state government to properly implement Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) scheme and asked the government to file response to a petition alleging irregularities in implementation of MGNREGA works in Srigufwara village of Anantnag.
Hearing the PIL, the division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Rashid Ali Dar sought responses from Commissioner Secretary Rural Development Department, Director Rural Development Department, Assistant Commissioner Development Anantnag, Block Development Officer Srigufwara and Block President PDP Bijbehara within four weeks.
“The MNREGA scheme is a central legislation which is for the development of rural areas and for providing guaranteed jobs to rural population but same is not being implemented properly,” the court said.
The petition filed by one Farooq Ahmed Rather of Srigufwara, Anantnag states that the funds allocated for his village under MNREGA scheme were not being properly utilised for developmental works.
“During 2017-2018 funds were allocated and subsequently around 100 developmental works were identified through Gram Sabha meeting. But the block president of PDP party is interfering in the developmental works and is employing agents of his political party as brokers/contractors/commission agents which is totally prohibited under the said scheme. In this way, the block president and his agents are earning huge sums of money out of said scheme,” the petition alleged.
“that the very objective of MNREGA scheme is do away with middle man or agents and it has to be amply used for public good. But unfortunately in the present case, the block president has been dictating his own terms and in this way there is a total abuse of public money. Also the concerned officers have remained mute spectators to this issue.”
Advocate G Q Bhat, representing the petitioner, argued that there was poor implementation of schemes in the state.
“In order to safeguard the rights of people we need to have proper mechanism in place which in long run be utilized for public good. But unfortunately whenever there is an implementation of certain scheme, people always find it difficult to get the benefit. It doesn’t reach to those who deserve it and in between it is gobbled up by these middle men.”