JAMMU, Aug 3: Throwing all the norms to winds and purely on the political considerations, about 224 persons have been appointed in the Rural Development Department (RDD) in district Rajouri under PDP-BJP regime during last three years.
Highly placed sources in the Rural Development Department told the Excelsior that this is just a tip of an iceberg , as ‘224 favourites’ of PDP-BJP have come to lime light just in RDD in district Rajouri, the number may be more in the Department, if lists are compiled from the other districts, especially from Kashmir province.
Sources revealed that without bothering for the standing norms, the officers at the helm of affairs without issuing public notifications, mostly appointed these people depriving the other educated youth of the district opportunity to get the Government job. Majority of these `blue eyed’ people appointed have been placed under MGNREGA Scheme for which Govt of India is providing huge funds.
Out of the total 224 people appointed in district Rajouri in RDD during this period, 125 are Grameen Rozgar Sevaks ( GRS), 72 Computer Operators/ Data Entry Operators and 27 Technical Assistants. Sources revealed that there are 295 Panchayats in district Rajouri and at present 274 GRS and around 60 Technical Assistants are in place. During past 15 -20 years, many Technical Assistants have become Junior Engineers by managing promotions by arranging degrees.
Sources indicated that the appointment orders were issued by the then ACDs placed during this period, on the recommendations of the concern political figures including legislators. Most of such placements were effected during the regime of an ACD, who has already been booked by Vigilance Organisation, a few months back. Despite Vigilance case, he has been enjoying price posting in RDD and heading an important district due to his political clout.
“After the dissolution of Panchayats in the State, the GRS have become more powerful entity. Most of the works are cleared at their instance. Though they are getting just Rs 4500 per month, but there are many in this district who have owned costly cars and even JCBs and using them for Departmental works and earning huge money, despite the fact that under MGNREGA norms they can not use machines /JCB for works and have to engage local labour for granting them 100 days’ work in a year,” the sources revealed.
It is pertinent to mention here that a large number of labour class people from Rajouri are still unpaid for the last 2-3 years and the RDD officials claimed that there is still huge labour component liability worth crores pending in various blocks. As per the MGNREGA norms, the labourers engaged should be paid daily or within maximum 14 days of the work performed but in various districts the labourers are still unpaid for the last more than two years. According to official figures as on ending March, 2018, the RDD liability was put at around Rs 651.42 crores including labour and material component. Even this year’s liability so far has gone up to Rs 111.25 crores.
Director, RDD Jammu, Rehana Batul when contacted said that this is big issue which has now been brought to her notice.” I have taken over the charge of the Rural Development Department Jammu hardly a few days ago. I will look into the matter and hold an inquiry. An appropriate action in this regard will be taken shortly,” the Director maintained.