NGO reveals Orissa, UP NREGA discrepancy

About four years after its first survey on the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in Orissa's hinterlands that showed large-scale defalcation of money, the Delhi-based NGO Centre for Environment and Food Security today in its second performance audit revealed that 67 per cent of very poor Dalit and tribal households in Orissa and UP did not get even a single day of the NREGS employment during previous one year. Besides, more than one third of extremely impoverished Dalit and tribal households in UP and Orissa remained completely out of the PDS.

In December last year, the SC hearing a civil writ petition of the NGO alleging Rs 500 crore scam in NREGS in Orissa during 2006-07 had asked why it "should not order a CBI probe into the MGNREGS pilferage in Orissa". The NGO which conducted a survey in 100 villages of six KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) districts between May and June 2007, found that there was systematic plunder of poors' right to guaranteed wage employment for 100 days and Rs 500 crore of the allocated Rs 733 crore for 2006-07 was defalcated by corrupt officials. On March 14 again, the SC asked the State government to order a CBI probe in 4 weeks or else it would be compelled to pass such a probe.

The NGO which again conducted performance audit of 10 food security and poverty alleviation schemes such as NREGS in Orissa and Uttar Pradesh during July-October 2010 through sample survey in 130 villages of 12 districts of Orissa and UP (Bundelkhand) has found that the two States hit the bottom over implementation of the schemes. The schemes audited by the NGO were Public Distribution System, Antoday Anna Yojana, National Old Age Pension Scheme, Mid Day Meals, Integrated Child Development Scheme, National Family Benefit Scheme, National Maternity Benefit Scheme, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozagar Yojana as well as NREGS. In Orissa the NGO did its audit in Bolangir, Nuapada , Kalahandi, Ganjam , Gajapati, Sundergarh and Keonjhar while the sample districts in UP (Bundelkhand) were Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur and Lalitpur. The questionnaire-based survey had a sample base of 3250 households of which 53.4 per cent were Dalits and 46.6 per cent tribals.

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