Tarn Taran Diary: DC detects embezzlement in NREGA working


The detection of discrepancies by Deputy Commissioner Rishipal Singh in the working of development works being done with NREGA funds in different villages of block Valtoha in the district confirmed the allegations being levelled by some unions of NREGA workers. The detection astonished all after it was brought to the notice of the officials. And these unions had been demanding a high-level probe into the allegation. According to the official report, the Deputy Commissioner visited a number of villages where work with NREGA funds had been going on. It was detected that the officials supervising work on duty had been marking bogus attendance of job card holders to embezzle funds worth crores. The Deputy Commissioner, while checking the record in Ghariala Khurd village, found that there were a total of 47 workers mentioned in the e-muster roll working at the village pond but the exact number of workers on the spot was just 23. This way, the daily wage of remaining 24 workers was to be embezzled by the officials supervising the work. The daily wage of a NREGA worker is Rs 282 per day. The same was the position in Dholan village where in the online e-muster roll, 63 workers were shown as working on the site but the Deputy Commissioner saw only 28 workers working at the village pond. The position in Assal Uttar village was quite amazing where there was work underway for the modern Sath (sitting hut), roadside plantation, land levelling and common water pond (talab) for which 52 workers were shown in the e-muster roll but there was not even a single workers there. In the work in progress at Mehmoodpur and Duhal, where for both the villages, 81 workers were mentioned to be on work in the e-muster roll online, there was no workers at the site and the salary (daily wage) of all the 81 workers was supposedly to be embezzled. The Deputy Commissioner said the wages of workers whose attendances had been shown to be bogus should purportedly have been embezzled by the Assistant Programme Officer (NREGA), Technical Assistant and Gram Rozgar Sewak of NREGA of Valtoha block. The DC said their work contract would be cancelled without delay. Ranjit Singh Shakri, district president, NREGA Workers Union, Tarn Taran, said his union had been apprising the administration that in a well planned modus operandi, certain high-level officials’ fake job cards had been prepared and this way, grants worth crores had been siphoned (embezzled) in the last few years. Shakri demanded a high-level probe into the record of last five years.

The Deputy Commissioner checks a NREGA work site.

Education mafia has its footprints

Tough there were reports of wine, sand, transport, cable and other mafias working across the state, you will be surprised that in the border district of Tarn Taran, the education mafia too has been existing for many years. Under this ‘illegal trade’, a large number of students from well to do families are admitted to government or other private schools only on paper in senior classes like Plus 1 or Plus II (also called bogus admission). These students got coaching from well-known academies in Chandigarh, Amritsar and other cities. The attendance of these students is marked on proxy in the school where they are admitted just to appear in the exam conducted by the PSEB to get good marks. The mafia has its links in the official hierarchy. Even students from for-off areas take advantage of the ‘trade’. The children of officers of the education department derive advantage of the trade. The staff for supervision is appointed through the PSEB authorities by the mafia which makes hay with the connivance of officers from the education and other departments. The team led by Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had detected the mafia during a recent visit to a school. The mafias presence can be noticed in other government and private schools as well. Political bosses too give shelter to the mafia.

(Contributed by Gurbaxpuri)