ZPs reluctant to use MGNREGS funds for sanitation drive

ZPs reluctant to use MGNREGS funds for sanitation drive

It is the sole implementing agency for both the schemes

The zilla panchayats have been allowed to use the MGNREGS funds for total sanitation drive.  The Union government has already approved payment of wages for construction of toilets under MGNREGS. However, the Water Supply and Sanitary Mission under the State’s Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department has issued a circular to chief executive officers of all the zilla panchayats in the State on February 18.

 The circular refers to the ZPs not using the MGNREGS funds for construction of toilets under sanitation drive. The planning director of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has informed the Mission that it requires 30 human days to construct a toilet.

Action plan

The Mission director Dr P Boregowda has asked the chief executive officers to prepare an action plan accordingly and implement it at the earliest.

He has also directed that the total sanitation drive should be implemented at the earliest, keeping in view the fact that any change in daily wage reflects itself in the cost of the project too.

Under the employment guarantee scheme, a below poverty line family is entitled to
Rs 3,000 assistance for construction of a toilet.  Following concerns that the said money would not meet the expenses required for construction of toilet, sponsorship from two more schemes have been ensured in to ensure success of the sanitation drive. In that case, the beneficiaries get Rs 2,750 more.

The amount would however would go to labourers who construct the toilets. The arrangement calls for a close coordination between implementing agencies of job guarantee scheme and sanitation drive.

No tie-up this year

However, it is to be notified that such a coordination has not been achieved till now despite zilla panchayat being the sole implementing agency of both the schemes. It is also being felt that the tie-up may not materialise this year with the impending closure of the current financial year.  The officials also say that the benefit would be available to those who construct toilets henceforth.