MGNREGA: Survey points out wage payment irregularities in Goalpara
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Goalpara, May 17: The success of the MGNREGA in the district of Goalpara is found to be a big concerning question as a large number of workers with active job cards have to wait for several months to get their wages cleared.
Though from the official records it has been found that the scheme is prevalent in almost every part of the district but yet up to what percentage of people is actually benefitted by the scheme is still a doubtful question.
There has been a continuous allegation from the villagers that very often the workers have to resort to the unlawful options like strike, lock-outs, rallies etc as that remains the only measure to claim their wages.
Moreover the villagers also claimed that owing to their economic status the cost of justice through court was also too high for them. None of the workers have the capacity to knock the door of the court in search of justice. Even if somehow they gathered the courage to do so their voices are always suppressed by the power of money.
When interacted with certain numbers of workers in a working site of Balija and Telipara village of the district the workers said that several times they have also moved from door to door of the Gaon Panchayat Secretary and Councilors homelike a beggar with the hope of getting their wages but to their destiny most of the time they had to face negative response only.
Moreover from the baseline survey it has been found out that almost 50-70% of workers from the Balija, Krishi, and Jaleswar Development block have not received their entitled wages since last 6-7 months.
Moreover apart from issues relating to wages, another important matter which calls in for attention is period of employment. As per the provision of the MGNREGA all eligible beneficiaries who are above 18 years of age ,willing to do unskilled manual work and having Job card are likely to get not less than 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in ne fincial year. However the situation was quiet different in the district. As per the official sources it has been found that only a certain fraction of the total population was found to have been employed for the specified time period as per the provisions of the statute. Majority of the workers complained that they have to satisfy most of the times at half of the periods and sometimes even lower than that. What makes the situation of the villagers more pathetic is that inspite of continuous complaint being made by the poor villagers no action has been taken yet by the authorities.