MGNREGA to help Railways in civil works

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) will now help ease the economic burden of the railways by taking up its small civil works like construction of approach roads, developing waterways and afforestation efforts.

The ministry is now busy preparing the list of works it can request the MGNREGA to complete. This working arrangement with the rural development ministry has come following the acceptance of Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s request to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Ramesh in a letter last week to Bansal accepted his proposal with the rider that railways will have to follow the procedures entailed in the legislation that any work proposal will have to be sanctioned by the gram sabha. Ramesh, in his letter, has said that the railways will identify the work and submit it to the district programme co-ordinator for passing them on to the gram panchayats.

Panchayats will place it before the gram sabha for its inclusion in the annual budget.  The railway engineers could later assist the gram panchayat in developing estimates and training the workers and also ensure quality of work.  The rail ministry will  appoint a person to co-ordinate the new working arrangement with the rural development ministry.

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