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MGNREGA work being diverted in UP, JCB used in violation of norm: Rihai Manch

By Our Representative
An Uttar Pradesh civil rights organization has demanded that the Azamgarh district magistrate take action against local officials using JCB machines for excavation job in the name of employing workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Rihai Manch in a statement has said that when a migrant worker, Rinku Yadav, tried to raise the issue with local officials, he was arrested.
Calling it a clear case of corruption, Rihai Manch general secretary Rajeev Yadav, in a letter, the copy of which was sent to officials of the Union ministries of rural development and labour and employment, as also their state government counterparts, said, Rinku Yadav, had returned from Karnataka. When he found this happening in his Sheikhupur village, he questioned local officials as to why soil was being extracted with JCB, though it is an MGNREGA job.
Pointing out that this was not the only spot where the irregularity was happening, Rihai Manch alleged, instead of questioning government officials, the migrant worker was asked to reach the police station, where police complaint against him had already been made under sections related to extortion. The labourer was arrested, though received bail in the tehsil court.
Rihai March said, in government records, Azamgarh is one of the top three districts of Uttar Pradesh that claims to be providing maximum number work to migrants and registered job-holders under MGNREGA in the financial year 2020-21. The District Magistrate has set a target of giving employment under MNREGA to 2 lakh workers till July 15.
Questioning the data, Rihai Manch said, in this case, excavation with the help of JCB was being carried out, which was a clear a robbery on the workers’ rights. “Currently, work is in progress in 1,765 gram panchayats. So far, 1,17,573 workers have been given work, claim officials. There is reason to ask if this is being done as per the standards”, he said.

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