MGNREGS job card holders complain their PO accounts not confided to them

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IMPHAL, Oct 5: Altogether 79 job card holders of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme under Keirao Gram Panchayat have made a representation to the District Programme Co-ordinator, MGNREGS/Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East District for withholding of their Post Office Passbooks by the Panchayat authority and their illegal withdrawal of wages from the respective Post Office Saving Accounts without knowledge of the Job Card holders.
A statement issued by the Human Right Law Network (HRLN) stated that in the said representation, the Job Card holders have stated that all the MGNREGS workers have been engaged without issuance of passbooks to the workers concerned by the Pradhan and the members of Keirao Gram Panchayat.
Over and above this the Muster Rolls were not maintained at the worksites.
It said that in earlier instances the Panchayat members namely Smt. Kangabam Naobi Devi, Smt. Arambam Bala Devi, Smt. Asem Ichan Devi have asked the Job Card holders to give a sum of Rs 60 each for opening their respective accounts and accordingly the Job Card holders had handed over the said sum of money to the above named Panchayat members.
The members of the Panchayat used to disburse the wages to the workers directly after withdrawing the same from the Post Office concerned, the HRLN note said.
At present the said Post Office pass books are in the custody of the above named members of the Keirao Gram Panchayat and as such they could not disclose their account numbers, it said.
At the time of submitting the representation, the staff of Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East has taken Rs. 10 it said.
At the time of collecting the said sum a TR-5 receipt was issued, which is quite contrary to the established office procedure, it said.
 Thus, the Job Card holders have approached the District Programme Coordinator to inquire into the matter promptly, to punish the errant Pradhan and the members and also to allow the Job Card holders to withdraw their wages from the concerned Post Office directly after getting their passbooks from the Panchayat authority.
Yesterday, the Job Card holders of Keirao Gram Panchayat had tried to meet the concerned Block Development Officer and the District Programme Co-ordinator at their office during office hour.
However, they were prevented from entering into the Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East Office Complex at the main gate by the security personnel who were posted there.
It is shocking to know that these poor illiterate villagers is compelled to go from pillar to post in order to get their saving post office account passbooks, which is supposed to be in the custody of Job Card holders, the note said.
Further, the office of the Ombudsman, MGNREGS, Imphal East District, which has been established by the Government of India exclusively for dealing with complaints of the Job Card holders and to redress their grievances, is put in a pathetic conditions without proper support staff and infrastructures and ultimately, the Ombudsman office caused unnecessary delay while delivering justice to the rural poor.
Human Rights Law Network (Manipur) has been campaigning for effective implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 across the State. HRLN uses existing justice delivery system to redress grievances of people, who rights have been suppressed by the machineries of the state.

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