Defying the directives of higher-ups, the Block Development Officers in Poonch have constantly delayed the submission of reports regarding physical verification of works executed under the MGNREGA scheme to clear the pending liabilities for mason and material, while hundreds of the job seekers are running from pillar to post for years together for the release of their payments.
Sources said though a Committee was constituted by the then-District Development Commissioner, Poonch, Rahul Yadav under the chairmanship of Executive Engineer, Rural Engineering Wing (REW) Poonch for the physical verification of MGNREGA works executed in the district during the financial year 2016-17 and 2017-18 till date no report was submitted by the Committee to the higher-ups for release of pending payment which amounts to over Rs 3.50 crore.
Sources said the Executive Engineer, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Committee, had written umpteen letters to the concerned BDOs of the district to do the physical verification of works executed in their respective jurisdiction, but they failed to comply, creating a row within the functioning of the Department.
The Executive Engineer, however, brought the matter to the notice of Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD) Poonch turning his attention towards the issue and seeking directives to BDOs for compliance, but much to the chagrin of the hapless masons and material suppliers, no headway was made in making the physical verification of works executed till date.
Sources said even ACD Poonch, in his letter of July 20 this year, has asked the Executive Engineer REW Poonch to submit the photographs and certificates of works executed duly signed by respective BDOs and report should reach to his office within ten days after his letter; still, no action has been taken till date by the subordinate offices.
The Executive Engineer, REW, in his letter on August 28 this year to District Development Commissioner, Poonch, has said despite giving umpteen reminders to concerned BDOs regarding physical verification of works, he did not get any positive response from them. The letter further mentioned that he had accordingly informed the ACD, Poonch, in this regard, but instead of issuing directives to the concerned BDOs who have failed to provide photographs and made physical verification of the works done in their respective blocks, he (Executive Engineer) alleged that he was being targeted and even held responsible for non-compliance on the part of BDOs.
The Executive Engineer in the letter further mentioned that under these circumstances, the final report to be submitted to District Development Commissioner’s Office would be further delayed due to non-compliance with the directions by the concerned BDOs.
The Executive Engineer has also categorically mentioned that without the geo-tagged photographs and certificates by the BDOs, the further course of action can’t be taken in this connection based on which the final report will be made.
The Executive Engineer seeking immediate intervention of DDC, Poonch, has appealed to him to issue directives to the concerned BDOs to submit the verification report without further delay.
According to sources, the payment to the tune of over Rs 3.50 crore is a liability against the Government under the scheme which failed to release the same due to specific unavoidable reasons.
Sources said the labourers and masons whose payments are pending over these years are running from pillar to post for the release of the same but to no avail, as the authorities at the helm of affairs are unnecessarily adopting delaying tactics in the submission of verification reports.
Sources said that despite the directives of higher-ups in the Civil Secretariat to District Development Commissioner Poonch seeking the physical verification report by concerned BDOs, they failed to submit the same for reasons best known to them.
Meanwhile, the masons and material suppliers whose payments have not been paid over the years are up in arms against the high-handedness of the BDOs and the Department saying for settling the personnel scores; they have put them to unnecessary harassment and humiliation.
While questioning the role of the Department, they said, “What is the fun of launching such public welfare schemes by the Government, which instead of welfare are putting people to unnecessary trouble and hardships”.
However, District Development Commissioner Poonch Inderjit said that the liabilities are 2016-17 and 2017-18, amounting to Rs 3.50 crore. He said the delay in the release of payment was as the Administrative Department had asked that the concerned DCs may get the execution of works verified when approached for clearance of payment.
He said the payment for about 750 works are pending, the verification process is now underway, and the final report will be submitted within 20 to 25 days.
73rd Republic Day Celebrations Held Across Jammu
On Wednesday, on the 73rd Republic Day of the country, the tricolour flag was proudly hoisted at every square and square of the city. Amid patriotic songs and music in all the squares and streets of the town, people hoisted the tricolour flag paid tribute to the country’s martyrs and saluted the brave soldiers deployed in defence of the borders. On this national festival of Republic Day, after flag hoisting by business organizations in many city areas, Prasad was also distributed among the people by putting up stalls of halwa-puri.
Jammu Mayor Chandramohan Gupta hoisted the tricolour and regional traders at the historic Raghunath Mandir Chowk. Apart from this, the Mayor hoisted the tricolour flag at Shaheed Major Akash Singh Park in his residence area, celebrating Republic Day with people in more than a dozen city areas.
The main program was organized on behalf of the State Bharatiya Janata Party at the party headquarters at Trikuta Nagar, where the state president Ravindra Raina unfurled the tricolour flag along with former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta and other leaders. Next, former Minister Sat Sharma and other leaders hoisted the tricolour flag in the BJP’s Kachi Cantonment office. Then, in the Chamber House located at Railhead Complex, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jammu, President Arun Gupta, and other office bearers and main businessmen unfurled the tricolour flag.
In Jammu’s biggest wholesale grain market Ware House-Nehru Market, the Federation’s head Deepak Gupta and market traders hoisted the tricolour flag. Apart from this, regional corporators in all 75 wards of Jammu Municipal Corporation shared the happiness of Republic Day by hoisting the tricolour flag along with the people of their respective wards.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha hoists National Flag at Republic Day function
Rapper cop of Jammu and Kashmir awarded by DGP
Jammu and Kashmir Police constable Jeevan Kumar whose rap performance on a television reality show has gone viral and won him praise was awarded by Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Tuesday night.
The police chief gave a commendation certificate and a reward of Rs 10,000 to the constable.
The police chief congratulated Kumar and his family for his excellent performance and for making the force proud.
Jeevan’s rap song was a tribute to the security forces.
Police officials said rapping is a hobby of the 25-year-old constable hailing from the border belt of Bishnah in Jammu.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Jammu Mukesh Singh had shared a video of Kumar singing last year and said the constable was a passionate singer.
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