Home > Trends > nregs,A newly e-literate village paanwala’s obsession with Google has blown the lid off a unique NREGS scam

nregs,A newly e-literate village paanwala’s obsession with Google has blown the lid off a unique NREGS scam

A newly e-literate village paanwala’s obsession with Google has blown the lid off a unique NREGS scam in Porbandar. The motley bunch of beneficiaries include affluent NRIs, doctors, government officials, teachers and well-off farmers — all shown as unemployed village labourers holding NREGS job cards. So far, the money siphoned off comes to nearly Rs 1 crore.
On paper, there are 963 NREGS job cardholders at Kotda village in Kutiyana taluka of Porbandar district. Records show they have been paid over Rs 95 lakh for their ‘labour’ over the last three years. In reality though, none of them have ever dug wells or built roads in their lives or actually received any money for the same under NREGS or otherwise.
The scam came to light after Aslam Khokhar (37), a Class X drop-out and a paan shop owner in Kutiyana learnt how to use computers and searched NREGS on Google. “I was thrilled to find every detail of NREGS work in our area on the website. But I then came across the job card of a friend, who is a government employee. I searched and found there are doctors, teachers and NRIs I personally know in the village, listed as ‘labourers’ on the site,” said Khokar.
Gujarat paanwala googles NREGS, reveals Rs 1-cr scam Veja Modedara, an independent councilor at Kutiyana taluka panchayat, and Congress worker like Bhanukant Odedara soon joined hands with Khokhar. The trio conducted door-to-door meetings with villagers named in the website and found they had neither worked on any NREGS site nor received any wages. 
 
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