Dead get wages for building road in Uttar Pradesh

June 24th, 2009 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 24 (IANS) Authorities in Uttar Pradesh have shown “over 100 dead villagers” as beneficiaries of a central government sponsored job guarantee scheme, according to a plea filed in a court.
The plea, which came for hearing Tuesday, alleges that over 100 dead labourers have been shown employed to construct a road under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in Mahoba district.

“After finding the anomalies in the 250 meter-long road that was build under the NREGS scheme last year, I filed a PIL in the court. What came as a shocker to us was that there were less people engaged in the work than the figures shown in the muster role,” Suresh Chaturvedi, the litigant, told IANS.

“We prepared a list of the ‘dead’ workers employed for the work and submitted it in the court,” he added.

Chaturvedi has also submitted in the court the names of the dead people employed under the flagship scheme of the Congress-led central government.

The district judge, A.K. Sharma, while hearing the case Tuesday, asked the chief development officer of the region to file his reply within 15 days.

“It was clear from the evidence that payments were also made in these fake names and the chief development officer (CDO) of the region, J.R. Verma has been directed to file a reply within 15 days”, a court official said.

The CDO said “about 700 projects are going on in the region under the NREGS and it is impossible for us to keep track of each and every project.

“We accept that anomalies have taken place and will present all the facts before the court in the given time,” Verma told IANS.

NREGS provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment each year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work at the statutory minimum wage.

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