Telangana state’s WhatsApp army targets Center over NREGS bills – Reuters
Express press service
ADILABAD: In what is seen as a counter-strategy to ‘expose’ the Centre, the state government has decided to create WhatsApp groups to operate alongside the National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS) app for the execution of NREGS work. The state’s decision comes after allegations mounted between TRS and BJP over who is responsible for late payments to NREGS workers. The village secretaries who are to create these WhatsApp groups have been instructed to include all important leaders, from the Sarpanch to the MP.
The central government’s NMMS application, intended to provide transparency in the release of funds and the payment of wages to workers under the NREGS, is already operational. The whatsapp groups were created after the state government issued a circular stating that for the execution of the work of the NREGS, the panchayat secretary “shall establish a whatsapp group at the gram panchayat level and post related messages daily to the call lists”.
WhatsApp messages must contain data on the issuance of new call lists, the name and code of work and the names of workers. The central government’s NMMS application went live on May 16.
Panchayat Commissioner Raj issued a circular to district officials who in turn sent it to the gram panchayats stating that attendance of the NREGS worker was mandatory through the NMMS app. But the application had technical problems. The NMMS app was developed with social audits revealing misuse of crores of rupees. Recently, in Boath mandal of Adilabad, a social audit revealed that the funds of `1 cr had been misappropriated.