UKHRUL | Jan 31

Irked with the government’s silence on its demands for immediate redressal of various grievances endured by MGNREGS job card holders of the district, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Ukhrul district MGNREGA has resolved to intensify its agitation on a wider scale.

Announcing the decision in a press conference held at UDWJA office Thursday, JAC convenor Dickson Ngalung Zimik and secretary Khamung Mashangva said that the JAC, taking serious note of the deafening silence maintained by the district administration and state government on their legitimate demands, will convene a coordination meeting of headmen and chairmen of all villages in the district on February 4 next.

The JAC leaders stated that the proposed meeting will be crucial for deciding the future course of the agitation and appealed to headmen and chairmen of all villages in the district to join the meeting without fail.

Further divulging the main objective of the proposed meeting, the JAC leaders stated that arrangements have been made to constitute a core committee comprising village chiefs/chairmen and public leaders, on the day of the meeting, to take forward the agitation on a wider scale.

“The core committee thus formed will be entrusted to spearhead a mass movement to mount pressure on both the district administration and the state government until the grievances endured by job card holders of the scheme are duly redressed,” they added.

At the same time, while terming the current fund routing system as the root cause of rampant irregularities in the scheme implementation, the JAC leaders appealed to the state government to revert it to the previous direct Centre-District fund disbursement via concerned DRDA.

In pursuance of its demands, the JAC imposed a total shutdown to boycott the 70th Republic Day celebration in the township on January 26 last.

“Even after this agitation, both the district administration and the state government continue to remain silent on our legitimate demands,” convenor Zimik lamented, adding that “as such, we now have no other options than to intensify the agitation through a mass based movement.”

“This is proof that both the district administration and the state government are not only lax in implementing the flagship programme but even indifferent to grievances of the job-card holders under the scheme,” Mashangva pointed out.

“Even as many impoverished families depend on the flagship programme for sustenance of their means of livelihood, the way it is being implemented, the ambitious programme has failed to provide guaranteed 100 days of work to the poor,” he contended.

While the scheme is implemented upto 80-90 percent in other neighbouring states, it is a shame that Manipur accounts for just 20 percent in the picture, he added.

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