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Palghar: Workers take indefinite leave to oppose villagers' audit of Jal Jeevan mission works

Updated on: 06 April,2024 02:20 PM IST  |  Palghar
mid-day online correspondent |

Palghar taluka's protesting gram sevaks claim they are unfairly singled out because they weren't involved in conception or implementation of the initiatives

Palghar: Workers take indefinite leave to oppose villagers' audit of Jal Jeevan mission works

Representative Image/ istock

In the Palghar district of Maharashtra, more than 370 village labourers, referred to as "gram sevaks", have taken an indefinite leave of absence in protest at the villagers' "audit" of the work being done under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Palghar taluka's protesting gram sevaks claim they are unfairly singled out because they were not involved in the conception or implementation of the initiatives, reported PTI.

The president of the Palghar Gramsevak Sanghatana, Suchit Gharat, said that the Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has been informed of their decision. Gharat emphasised that gram sevaks are being unfairly used as scapegoats, the report added.

The Jal Jeevan Mission is a key programme that aims to provide clean and adequate drinking water to rural homes via individual tap connections.

Previously, 16 engineers from the area threatened to go on mass leave in protest of the audit, which aimed to uncover flaws in the mission's implementation. Over many days, locals, led by an NGO, have scrutinised the taluka's works to uncover faults.

Another report in the PTI had stated that the assistant returning officer for Palghar Lok Sabha constituency had ordered action against government employees who violated the model code of conduct.

Earlier, at least 16 engineers from Palghar Zilla Parishad had considered going on mass leave to protest the audit and they had informed the Zilla Parishad's executive engineer of their decision through a letter on Thursday.

According to reports, people have been inspecting the area for construction mistakes over the last three days. This has resulted in clashes with engineers, with some staff members being imprisoned for an extended period.

In their letter, the engineers expressed fear that the audit agitation would have an impact on their health and morale. The official stated that they feel forced to take mass leave until a higher-level decision is reached, the PTI report stated.

As a component of the 'Har Ghar Jal' program, which the national government launched in 2019, the Jal Jeevan Mission seeks to give piped water to every rural home by 2024. It places a strong emphasis on decentralisation and community participation in the design, development, and administration of water delivery systems.

A group from the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) has been visiting different regions of Maharashtra, including as Palghar, Raigad, Sindhudurg, and Pune, to examine the work being done under the plan. Their objective is to collaborate with local authorities and community people to facilitate the efficient execution of the mission and to guarantee its timely completion.

With PTI inputs

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