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Why NREGA workers got Re 1 per day!

Source: PTI
August 24, 2010 15:54 IST
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Around 100 NREGA workers, engaged in digging a stretch of land for the past 13 days were paid a paltry Re 1 per day as wages with the district administration justifying the payment saying it was a small area collectively dug by the workers.

According to the labourers, 99 of them working under the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) were paid Rs 11 as their total wages for the work done in 13 days in Gudaliya village.

The Tonk district collector, however, said a small area was dug collectively by the workers, so the payment was less. "99 workers were there for the digging work at work site in Gudaliya village under Roopwas Panchayat in the district for 13 days in April and May this year, but the fact is that they collectively dug only 11.97 cubic metre area and the payment of Rs 1,215 was made only after its justified measurement which was done in front of workers," Pramila Surana, Tonk District Collector, told PTI on phone.

"There is no scam or corruption as all the concerning documents have been checked properly. All entries are proper and in place. A sum of Rs 1,215 was decided after measurement and it was equally distributed," she said.

"How can public money be distributed without any reason? Since payment is distributed equally and they worked so little hence they got such low wages," she said. Today, I sent CEO and engineers to prepare a fresh report in this case," she said, adding, that she did not receive any complaints from anyone so far.

When asked why the labourers were not monitored that time or asked to work properly, she said that the person, who supervise the MGNREGA site, had asked them to work but they did not care.

"It is a common practice that workers go to the site but do not work properly and claim for more wages. Recently I personally visited several sites and observed it was true. "On Monday, I found around 250 women workers doing nothing at a work site. I directed them to work and left for another site, but when I returned back to check, I saw the situation was the same," she said. "Many of them want high wages without working adequately that is obviously not justified," she said.

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