State government expands scope for MGNREGS

State government expands scope for MGNREGS

To ensure creation of permanent and durable assets, the State government has expanded the scope of works to be undertaken under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) during the current financial year.

Now, the work on development of graveyard, planting of saplings beside the roads and construction of godowns and toilets have been included.

According to the circular, construction of godowns utilising the funds available under the scheme can be initiated in every gram panchayat. The storage capacity of the godown should be 75 metric tonne at an estimated cost of Rs 11.70 lakh.

The work can be taken up by converging funds available with the funds under the MGNREGS.

The ratio of labour and materials should be 60:40. Panchayat Raj engineering division in each district has been entrusted with the responsibility to execute the work.

After the completion of the work, Gram panchayat should maintain it.

It can be rented out for PDS or agriculture credit cooperative societies and rent should be collected by the gram panchayats.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, MGNREGS Ombudsman Sheena Shetty said “if godowns are constructed in all 203 gram panchayats of Dakshina Kannada district, then it can be a good durable assets for the gram panchayat. The planting of saplings will increase the green cover in the district.” 

The circular said that with the convergence of funds, around 6,000 graveyards will be developed in the State.

“The State government had tried to develop burial grounds in each gram panchayat under Suvarna Gramodaya scheme. However, as the funds were not sufficient, the work could not be completed. Now, at least one burial ground in each gram panchayat can be developed under the scheme. If the land is earmarked for burial ground, then work on burial grounds can also be taken up.”

The circular said in the name of ‘Saalumarada Thimmakkana neralu,’ saplings should be planted along the roads developed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and Zilla Panchayat roads.

The government has envisaged to plant saplings along 4,319-km road in the State.

However, it has dropped Bangalore City, Bangalore rural, Chikmagalur, Kodagu, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts from the drive.

For Dakshina Kannada, it has been proposed to plant 19,150 saplings on 73-km road.

The social forestry department will be the implementing agency. In fact, the government has also proposed to maintain the saplings utilising the funds from MGNREGS for five years.

The job card holder who maintains the plant will be given tree right ownership or the ownership should be entrusted to Village Forest Committee, said the circular.

Seeking to address the persisting problem of open defecation, the government has widened the scope of MGNREGS to include works relating to rural sanitation in collaboration with the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan.

This interlinking is aimed at strengthening the base of rural livelihood and create durable assets in rural areas, said the Ombudsman.  

“As per the Para 4 (1) IV (i) of the Schedule- I of the MGNREG Act, taking up rural sanitation related works, such as, individual household toilets, school toilets, Anganwadi toilets can be taken up either independently or in convergence with schemes of other government departments to free the district from open defecation, said the circular.

The amendment made to the existing guidelines incorporates various changes including individual household latrine works can be taken up either under  Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan or independently under MGNREGS.

 According to the circular, “in the case of individual household laterine works taken up in convergence with cleanliness drive, the MGNREGS component is Rs 5,400. If the work is taken up independently under MGNREGS, then Rs 10,000 will be given.”  

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