Tribal Rally to demand CBI probe in Yavatmal Forest MGREGA Scam-TIMES OF INDIA
heir last salary was in Jan, 2012!TNN May 4, 2012, 03.24AM IST
YAVATMAL: The tribals working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) have not got their wages since February. Similarly tribals deployed for plucking the tendu leaves from the deep forest in Yavatmal district have also not been paid their bonus. Irked by the undeterred apathy of the district administration and forest officials, the tribals will take out a massive rally at Pandharkawda, 80km from Yavatmal, on May 4 to demand for a CBI probe into the rampant corruption in the central and state govt-sponsored schemes.
According to the convener of Tendu Mazdoor Samiti Bhimrao Naitam, the forest officials have not paid bonus to the tendu leaf pluckers till date, despite the amount being released by the government to the district administration.
The tribals, who are working simultaneously under the MGNREGS, have not been paid wages since January 2012 which is a criminal offence. "We demand the state government to order a CBI probe into the rampant corruption involved in both the matters (bonus and wages)," Naitam said.
VJAS president Kishor Tiwari has filed a complaint with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan demanding a probe into the allegation of pocketing the huge fund meant for implementation of MGNREGS by contractors, officers and the politicians. As per information, Chavan has forwarded the complaint to principal secretary Pravin Pardesi to look in to the matter on priority.
Naitam alleged that despite most of the work being done by machines, the contractors prepare bogus muster roll and show that the work's being done manually and pocket the entire fund. They do it with the blessings of the politicians and in connivance with some officials.
Tiwari further said, "The contractors' agent collect job cards from the workers and with its support, they open accounts in remote post office and banks. The cheques against the wages are credited into these accounts and are withdrawn later as if the money were given to real labourers. Crores of rupees are siphoned off in this manner and the poor tribals are pushed in to the lurch."
Following complaints, collector Shravan Hardikar has put on hold the issue of cheques amounting Rs25 crore since January last, Tiwari said.
Hardikar admitted that he received complaints of bogus muster rolls and that the works are being carried out by machines instead of labour. "I have asked the concerned officials to go for a social audit which includes site visits and verification of the works done by machine and labour. It is underway since February," Hardikar said, adding that anyone found guilty of corruption and forgery would not be spared.