STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Alleging large scale irregularities, massive bunglings and misappropriation of funds in implementation of MGNREGA scheme in the State, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, Harsh Dev Singh on Wednesday petitioned the Governor seeking a high level probe into all expenditures under the scheme by J&K RDD during past 3 years. Briefing media persons here, Harsh regretted that in absence of ombudsman or any other monitoring authority, the huge funding under MGNREGA and IHHL schemes has been looted and plundered with none to take cognizance of the frauds in RDD making headlines in media every other day. He said that not only the plunder of funds but RDD officers often declined to provide replies under RTIs, which had invited wrath of SIC as well with the latter admonishing the Department for circumventing the transparency law. Having clandestinely floundered principles of accountability and transparency, Singh called for a high level probe into multi-crore scam in RDD preferably through CBI. Pointing towards huge pendency of wages and other work done claims of workers and MGNREGA labourers and found by him during his recent tours of various villages, Singh regretted that rural poor had been deprived of legitimate benefits envisaged for them under the scheme. He said that it was highly unfortunate that claims of these poor indigent labouers remained unpaid for last 2 to 3 years and urged the Governor and Advisor to ensure clearance of liabilities created by reckless officers of the Department. Referring to vigilance raids in the houses and office premises of some of the officers in recent past exposing massive scam to the tune of crores in RDD under MGNREGA, Harsh said that it was only a tip of the ice-berg and said that identical exercise needs to be conducted in all other districts of the State, particularly Udhampur, Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Kathua, Samba in view of hundreds of crores being bungled by unscrupulous elements in collusion with officers and politicians. Harsh appealed to the State Governor to take due cognizance of the MGNREGA frauds and ensure early constitution of the much delayed monitoring and Evaluation Authority on lines of ‘Lok Pal’ as envisaged under the Act. He further sought immediate redressal of all genuine claims and grievances of contractual staff working under MGNREGA. Yash Paul Kundal, State Secretary Young Panthers and Surinder Chouhan, District President (Rural) were also present on the occasion.
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