MNREGA: Nearly 500 officials punished in MP

The Madhya Pradesh government said that it has put certain IAS officials under the vigilance scanner to probe their role in alleged graft.

Bhopal: Around 500 officials in Madhya Pradesh have been punished by authorities for their
involvement in alleged irregularities in the Centre`s flagship programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

Besides, over 1,500 office bearers of Panchayati Raj Institutions including Gram Sarpanchs are facing government actions for alleged graft in implementation of Mahatma Gandhi
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) in the state. Demand for recoveries worth crores of rupees has been raised against the delinquents.

According to an RTI reply, the Madhya Pradesh government said that it has put certain IAS officials under the vigilance scanner to probe their role in alleged graft.

"Madhya Pradesh has been on the forefront of taking action against erring officials during implementation of MNREGS. Till now, stringent action has been taken in cases of
456 officers or Govt employees," the Panchayat and Rural Development department said.

It includes two collectors, one Deputy Collectors, six CEO Zila Panchayat, 109 CEOs Janpad Panchayat, one each project officer and Block Development Officer, seven executive
engineers, 31 assistant engineers and 208 sub-engineers among others.

The department was replying to a series of queries asked by social activist Ajay Dubey on alleged graft in implementing national employment guarantee scheme in various districts of
the state.

"Even officials of Panchayati Raj Institutions were not spared. 227 Gram Panchayat Sarpanchs are facing action of removal from office, 397 of them are facing recovery proceedings against them. FIR has been lodged against 47 of them and five have been declared not to contest any Panchayati Raj Institution election in future," the department said.

"Based on field reports, responsibility and role of Sukhbir Singh, the then Collector Sidhi and Chandrashekhar Borker, the then CEO Zila Panchayat Sidhi, are further examined," the department said in response to a query on alleged graft by IAS officers in Jatropha plantation on 9,000 hectares of land.

"We have written a letter to Union Rural Development Minister pointing out the irregularities in MNREGS. We demand CBI enquiry into it. It is alarming to see the involvement of
such a large government and Panchayat officials in financial irregularities," Dubey alleged.

According to the reply, the worst affected areas where alleged graft has been noticed were Sidhi, Katni, Bhind, Tikamgarh and Chhatarpur.

PTI

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