Throwing norms to winds


Throwing all the norms to winds and purely on the political considerations, about 224 persons have been appointed in the Rural Development Department (RDD) in district Rajouri under PDP-BJP regime during last three years. This is just a tip of an iceberg , as '224 favourites' of PDP-BJP have come to lime light just in RDD in district Rajouri, the number may be more in the Department, if lists are compiled from the other districts, especially from Kashmir province. Without bothering for the standing norms, the officers at the helm of affairs without issuing public notifications mostly appointed these people depriving the other educated youth of the district opportunity to get the Government job. Majority of these `blue eyed' people appointed have been placed under MGNREGA Scheme for which Govt of India is providing huge funds. Out of the total 224 people appointed in district Rajouri in RDD during this period, 125 are Grameen Rozgar Sevaks (GRS), 72 Computer Operators/ Data Entry Operators and 27 Technical Assistants. Sources revealed that there are 295 Panchayats in district Rajouri and at present 274 GRS and around 60 Technical Assistants are in place. During past 15 -20 years, many Technical Assistants have become Junior Engineers by managing promotions by arranging degrees.
After the dissolution of Panchayats in the State, the GRS have become more powerful entity. Most of the works are cleared at their instance. Though they are getting just Rs 4500 per month, but there are many in this district who have owned costly cars and even JCBs and using them for Departmental works and earning huge money, despite the fact that under MGNREGA norms they cannot use machines /JCB for works and have to engage local labour for granting them 100 days' work in a year. A large number of labour class people from Rajouri are still unpaid for the last 2-3 years and the RDD officials claimed that there is still huge labour component liability worth crores pending in various blocks. As per the MGNREGA norms, the labourers engaged should be paid daily or within maximum 14 days of the work performed but in various districts the labourers are still unpaid for the last more than two years. According to official figures as on ending March, 2018, the RDD liability was put at around Rs 651.42 crores including labour and material component. Even this year's liability so far has gone up to Rs111.25 crores.

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