Nearly Rs 43 lakhs pocketed by Pradhan and Members

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IMPHAL, June 24: Job card holders of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) of Sangai Yumpham Gram Panchayat-II in Thoubal district have on Sunday alleged that Rs 42,45,942 meant for them has been siphoned off by the concerned Pradhan and Members.

Rs 42,45,942 which is to be given as wage to the NREGS job card holders of Ward numbers I, II, III and IV under Sangai Yumpham Gram Panchayat-II have been fraudulently withdrawn by its Pradhan and Members, job card holders of the said four wards who did not want to be named told newspersons at the Manipur Press Club here.

A total of 710 NREGS job card holders are registered in the government list in respect of the four wards but presently the scheme is being provided to 614 job card holders only, they said.

They said the Pradhan and the Members deceitfully drew money even by attaching others’ photographs on their cards.

This came to light when the job card holders entered the website http://www.nregs.nic.in/ and enquired on their case, they said, adding that they found this website after Rakesh Meihoubam, Director of Human Rights Alert spoke about it during a legal awareness programme held on May 5 last.

The website says there is no provision to issue job cards to government employees and dead persons. However, the Pradhan and the Members have provided job cards to such people. For instance, a police constable of the Ward No-I was found withdrawing Rs 1764 for repairing work of Idika drainage, they alleged.

Santosh, Member of Ward No-4 also misused the wages for the month of February 2012.

At the same time, the Post Master at the Wangjing Post office asked one hundred rupees from the job card holders of the said wards when they went to update their cards, they said.

They appealed the government to give their wages at the earliest possible or else they will take the help of RTI. They also called upon the state Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Francis Ngajokpa to look after the matter.

The Pradhan and Ward members involved in the misappropriation of NERGS money are Md Wahidur Rehman, Khumanthem Bina, Member, Ward No-I, Ningthoujam Nungshilata, Member, Ward No-II, Sanasam Sorojini, Member, Ward No-III and Thounajam Santoshini, Member, Ward No-IV.

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