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Neeru-Chettu hinders National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme works

Neeru-Chettu hinders National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme works
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Highlights

In spite of the rule that Neeru-Chettu scheme works shouldn’t disrupt the NREGS workers, the officials are inclined towards benefiting the contractors leaving National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) workers in the lurch.

Pithapuram: In spite of the rule that Neeru-Chettu scheme works shouldn’t disrupt the NREGS workers, the officials are inclined towards benefiting the contractors leaving National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) workers in the lurch.

Grama Sabha identified Lakshmipuram Gajaraja tank (Tummala Cheruvu) which is on the outskirts of Chebrolu in Gollaprolu mandal for NREGS works. It is meant to provide employment to people of 23 villages. The de-siltation work is proposed to be taken at a cost of Rs 18.60 lakh for 2,855 man-days. Accordingly, as many as 150 workers were engaged in de-silting the tank and the work went on for three weeks from May 11 to 28 before being interrupted by irrigation officials.

While the NREGS works are going on one side, officials from irrigation department prepared proposal to dig the same tank at a cost of Rs 9.4 lakh, under Neeru-Chettu scheme. Therefore, NREGS works were halted all of a sudden. The contractors are illegally transporting the mud dug from the tank. They also get funds from the government for digging the tank. The mud should be used for strengthening the tank bund and developing nearby lands.

There are allegations that the local leaders are hand-in -love with the contractors. The tank mud is being used for unofficial layouts. It is an open secret that contractors are pocketing crores of rupees apart from the lakhs of rupees they get from the government.

NREGS labourers are now worried over their sudden unemployment. There are allegations that the contractors are digging trenches due of lack of supervision from irrigation officials. Farmers are worried as this may cause disturbance to their irrigation.

NREGS assistant project officer Venkatalakshmi said the NREGS works were stopped after two weeks. “Wages have been paid. The mud dug by labourers was used for strengthening tank bund,” she added. Irrigation AE Rehman said proposal to dig the tank was prepared keeping the NREGS works in consideration.

By Saride Nageswara Rao

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