Tribune News Service
Bathinda, January 24
MGNREGA workers of Singo village in Talwandi Sabo are a harried lot as they had not been provided adequate work in the past year under the scheme. They said that a large number of workers of the village got merely 12 days of work as against the mandatory 100 days of work under the scheme.
Notably, there are more than 300 MGNREGA workers in the area and 100 of them claimed that they had not been getting enough work under the MGNREGA scheme as a result of which they had been finding it difficult to manage two square meals a day. Even many workers, who did not get adequate work, had taken loans to afford household expenses.
Jagshir Singh, a MGNREGA worker, said, “I have got work for only 12 days in the past year. As per the MGNREGA Act guidelines, the administration was bound to provide us work for a minimum of 100 days in a year. The problem was faced not only by workers of our village or block but also those of other blocks in the district. But our village is the worst sufferer where around 140 workers did not get work for more than 12 days in a year. As for the remaining workers, some of them got work for 15 days and others for 40 days.”
Nikka Singh, another worker, said, “Citing one reason or the other, we have not been provided work under the MGNREGA scheme. We have even met the Additional Deputy Commissioner and the BDPO on many occasions, but to no avail.”
Sucha Singh said, “If they do not have adequate work to provide us, they can at least provide us unemployment allowance. Despite urging them, we have not been given work receipts against the work done by us and in the absence of these receipts, we cannot lay claim to unemployment allowance or seek work.”
Meanwhile, MGNREGA workers in several villages of Mansa district have also raised concerns over inadequate work under the scheme. The workers said there was not only shortage of work but daily wages, which are already quite less, have not been provided on time. The daily wages, as per the MGNREGA guidelines, was Rs 241 per month, which, workers claimed, had not been given to them for a long time.
When contacted, Talwandi Sabo BDPO Raja Singh tried to avoid giving his view on the matter and then disconnected the call abruptly, saying that “we have been giving work to the workers as per the project work assigned to us by the government.”
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