Maintaining that non-payment of wages is putting a huge strain on majority of poor workers under MGNREGA, All Hunphun Tang Association (AHTA) has said that it would be compelled to launch a series of agitation if the state government failed to disburse the pending MGNREGA wages before December 22.
Briefing media persons at Awontang Community hall in Ukhrul town on Saturday, AHTA Chairman Chonme Raleng said the association was constrained to request the state government to arrange for disbursement of the long-pending wages latest by December 22, in view of the forthcoming Christmas.
“If the government fails to do so, we would be compelled to agitate throughout the district from December 23 onward,” he warned, conveying the discontent of the poor job card holders in the district.
He explained a mass rally has been scheduled for December 23 in the town, followed by a series of agitation in the event of the government failing to fulfill the demands within the stipulated deadline.
According to the AHTA chief, as per government directives, local committees of all 27 localities under its jurisdiction, have already created works liabilities for 50 days by arranging funds on their own. “These local committees are running up huge debts in terms of lakhs from execution of the works, but only two days wages have been paid so far during the current year,” he rued.
Majority of poor people in the town and villages rely on MGNREGA wages to meet most of their household requirements. With the festival drawing near, many of them are eagerly awaiting release of their wages, said Alungpam Ruivah, an executive of AHTA.
He informed all the committees had executed works in their respective localities and already created liabilities up till October last, as per government directives.
“But out of the 50 days work done, only two days wages were released on 12 November last and wages for the remaining 48 days have not been disbursed till date,” he said, decrying the lackadaisical attitude of the government.
He said if the present government would fail to release the wages as demanded by the poor wage earners, they would take its claims of concern about the hill populace as mere lip service.
According to AHTA executive Wunganing, the work programmes executed under MGNREGA liabilities across different localities included construction of water ponds, farm ponds, drainage, PCC pavements, and tree plantation among others.