Uttar Pradesh is one of the top most states in the country under MGNREGA which has failed to make payments around Rs 104 crore due for the financial year 2011-12. These include payments for material bills as well as payment for labour in the state for different NREGA works undertaken in the year 2011-2012. Out of this,about Rs 68 crore is the payment due against wages alone.
The scrutiny of data submitted by the Uttar Pradesh government under Management Information System to the Union Rural Development Ministry undertaken by NREGA cell of Congress in the state revealed these facts.
On-the-spot verification of some of these sites,where payments are due,proved that majority of these works is still incomplete due to either fault in the design or selection of work by the competent authority,thus leading to stoppage of work after some time.
Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are the only two states,where payments of over Rs 100 crore bills are still due. We did spot verification of some of these sites in districts like Maharajganj,Gonda,Mahoba,Ghazipur,Kanpur etc and came across instances of duplicate work,works which cannot be undertaken on the particular soil,works left incomplete. As per rules,payment of wages cannot be put on hold if there is technical fault by the competent authority, informed Sanjay Dixit,member of the central employment guarantee council and chairman of NREGA cell of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.
He further said: There can be pending payments for few months and it is understandable; but due payments for about a year and that also amounting to over Rs 100 crore is not acceptable. Either these are fake works or works with some or the other anomaly in implementation but it is surprising that no action has been taken regarding them so far.
Ironically,among the top defaulters are the districts which are represented by Congress MPs like Siddharthnagar,where payment worth Rs 10.85 crore is due for the last one year,which is represented by Congress MP Jagdambika Pal. District Paratapgarh,where payment of about Rs 9 crore is due is represented by Congress MP Ratna Singh,Gonda district,where payment of Rs 7.55 crore is due,is represented by Congress MP Beni Prasad Verma,District Maharajganj where payment of Rs 4.11 crore is due is represented by Congress MP Harshavardhan Singh.
Some of the striking cases that have been found by the volunteers during spot verification so far include construction of a link road in Bagapaar Gram Panchayat of Maharajganj district,whereas the same road has also been shown constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sarak Yojana. As per records,construction of road from Jhun-Jhunpur to Salamatpur in Bagapaar has been shown to be built under NREGA funds and amount due to the labour under this construction has been shown as Rs 6.74 lakh. After verification,it came out that the same road was also constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sarak Yojana, added Dixit.
In Gonda district,the volunteers found that in Dehrash Gram Panchayat of Paraspur block,12 muster rolls have been formed for cultivation of banana and there is about Rs 1 lakh payment due to labourers against this cultivation. When we did the spot check,it came out that neither bananna was cultivated in that village nor in the district and even the soil of the region is not fit for banana cultivation.
In Ghazipur district,volunteers have found that about 1km road was shown under NREGA records in Bhadawan village,but during on-the-spot verification only about 400 meter of road could be found. Similarly,in Aenchana village of Mahoba,a work of a link road was shown in the year 2011-2012,against which 15 muster rolls were formed and about Rs 1.50 lakh payment against labour is shown due. During spot verification,the team found that only 40 per cent of the work has been undertaken.
Once completed,the spot verification report would be sent to both Union Rural Development Ministry as well as UP government for action.