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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Jharkhand: Banned JCB machines used in NREGA plans

Incidentally under section 22 of the MGNREGA 2005, use of the machines are prohibited as the scheme envisages employment for the rural populace

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 25.01.22, 02:18 AM
JCB machines used in MGNREGA projects in the Ranka block of Garhwa.

JCB machines used in MGNREGA projects in the Ranka block of Garhwa. Bhola Prasad

A civil society outfit has detected the use of JCB machines in centrally sponsored MGNREGA schemes at a block in Garhwa district of Jharkhand, around 230km from Ranchi.

Incidentally under section 22 of the MGNREGA 2005, use of JCB machines are prohibited as the scheme envisages employment for the rural populace.

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State convenor of Jharkhand NREGA Watch (a forum of concerned citizens of Jharkhand), James Herenz, in a letter to deputy development commissioner (programme coordinator of MGNREGA in the district) of Garhwa on Friday has brought to notice the use of JCB machines in at least three MGNREGA projects in Barwahi village under Katra panchayat of Ranka block in Garhwa district between January 19 and 20.

“There are 10 projects under MGNREGA that have been approved in Barwahi village under Katra panchayat of Ranka block of Garhwa district for the financial year 2021-22. One time fake muster rolls have been created between January 16 and 20 in seven projects out of the 10 sanctioned and no workers are working in any of the seven projects. On the other hand, JCB machines have been found to be used in three projects between January 19 and 20 in collusion of contractor/middlemen,” the letter points out.

The letter further informs that as per villagers the JCB belongs to Vivek Kumar Singh of Bishrampur village while Omprakash Gupta and Israel Ansari, both residents of Ranka, have taken the contract for the MGNREGA project.

The letter urges the deputy development commissioner to investigate into the matter and ensure stopping payments for projects done through fake and illegal means and also take actions against guilty officials for violation of laws as per provisions of MGNREGA.

The copies of the letter have also been sent to Garhwa deputy commissioner Rajesh Pathak and NREGA commissioner Rajeshwari B.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Garhwa deputy development commissioner Satendra Narayan Upadhyay said that the concerned block development officer (BDO) has submitted a report on Saturday.

“Based on the report we have come to know that JCB were used illegally in two instances and we have cancelled both the projects and initiated fine of Rs 1,000 against rojgar sevak, panchayat secretary and village mukhiya for not monitoring the project. No payment had been given for any of the project. The third project was not approved and the JCB was being used for personal work,” said Upadhyay.

However, James Herenz countered the statement by saying, “The administration should initiate FIR against owner of JCB and even the third project is shown in the MIS data on the MGNREGA dashboard to be approved.”

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