The district congress committee (DCC), Phek had sought to file an RTI application in public interest seeking information on implementation of NREGS in Phek district. However, it has not been able to issue complete statement till date with the “piece-meal reply” received from the concerned, stated a release jointly issued by president, DCC Phek, Mikha Kenye, and general secretary (adm) Khosapa Venu.
While highlighting it had detected gross anomalies in the release and receipt of NREGS fund at various stages of implementation, it further stated that as per the record received, huge amount of funds were released against the villages whereas it was found that on average, about 20 – 30 man-days only were paid to the job card holders.
In convergence man-days, the so-called VIP share, not single paise was paid to the beneficiaries in almost all the villages while the VDB secretaries were made to sign a receipt stating that they had received the full amount, it added. The release also stated that in material component, not even 10% was paid to the villages but the VDB secretaries were made to sign blank APR (Actual Payment Receipt) and UC (Utilization Certificate).
Stating that only negligible quantities were supplied by POs to the villages when huge amount was sanctioned for procurement of materials by respective VDBs, it further went on to add that not a single job card holder had received his/her full man-days wage including convergence and not a single village had received full quantity of materials.
“The VDB Secretaries and even some VCCs are answerable to the people for the gross irregularities because they had signed the APR and UC”, it said and also alleged that the program officers (BDOs) and district program co-ordinator (P.D) were equally answerable for making them sign in blank APRs and UCs whether under duress or enticement.
Insisting that the job card holders and the deprived public in general carried the responsibility and duty to question the officials of the implementing agencies as to where funds other than those paid to them had disappeared, it furthermore stated that the Social Audit Committee was answerable and accountable and should make public the audited statements as per the NREGA guideline.
It also disclosed that VDB Secretaries and some VCCs under the pressure of Program Officers and higher ups have been threatening those job card holders who had signed declaration on how much amount they had received as man-days wages, and added that program officers had threatened that no fund would be released in future against those villages who had not withdrawn the signature. Stating that it would not remain a silent spectator for the continuing harassment meted out to innocent general public, Phek DCC assured measures at its disposal including legal recourse to protect the harassed citizens.
It is also alleged that implementing agencies at all levels have scaled down the projections for future schemes.
“This kind of vindictive action is questionable and only proves that the projection in the past were highly inflated, which were made to benefit themselves”, it added.