Agartala: Taking potshots at the BJP-led government, Leader of the Opposition Manik Sarkar has claimed that the rural economy of Tripura has been crippled under the ruling dispensation.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday at Udaipur, divisional headquarters of CPI(M), Sarkar said, “A team of Left MLAs has extensively toured across the length and breadth of Gomati district to interact with common masses and to understand their daily life problems. During our interactions with people from different walks of life, we got to know that people living in rural areas of the state are facing serious challenges and the whole rural economy is in a dire straits.”
Justifying his statement, Sarkar said, “The main backbone of the rural areas is MGNREGA wages. In certain areas of the district, the average work days that were supposed to remain close to 100 in a year dropped below 50. Majority of the beneficiaries are not getting their payments in time due to unforeseen reasons. In such a situation, there is no one to raise voice on their behalf.”
According to Sarkar, a section of ruling party workers referred to as members of Mandal committee are exploiting the poor MGNREGA beneficiaries to fleece their coffers.
“The MGNREGA act says machines can’t be used for asset creation under the scheme. Unfortunately, the mandal leaders are using machines for digging up ponds and other social assets and looting a considerable share of money from the beneficiaries. The person who is entitled to get the whole money is getting half of the wage only,” added Sarkar.
On the electricity woes, Sarkar said, “In remote areas of the district, villages linger in darkness for weeks. The electricity department is least bothered to fix electricity connections. Without electricity banks, government offices fail to operate properly. The biggest problem it poses in the agriculture sector. The existing irrigation facilities fail to pump water in croplands in absence of electricity and these issues need to be fixed as early as possible.”
The team consisting MLA Bhanu Lal Saha and MLA Ratan Bhowmik and others also met in a deputation at the office of District Magistrate Gomati district seeking remedial measures. Sarkar said, during their tour, they had met representatives of 178 Gram Panchayats, Village Committees and two Urban Local Bodies that fall under the jurisdiction of Gomati district.
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