SRINAGAR: MGNREGA funds would be utilized for creating productive assets in the rural areas instead of squandering the same on unproductive works, as was the practice in the past. This was stated by Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq Khan while reviewing physical and financial achievements in the rural development sector in district Budgam.
Abdul Haq said he will not allow construction of protection bunds, drains and lanes henceforth which usually benefited few influential people in villages in past, but will utilize MGNREGA funds for improving connectivity in villages, flood protection works and creating assets for villages.
The Minister was informed that in district Budgam, under MGNREGA, 5111 works were taken up during the current financial year which included spillover works and out of the target 3972 works stand completed at a cost of Rs 33.51 crore. Under these schemes, 9.33 lakh man-days were generated for 59830 job card holders of the district.
Minister was informed that under IAY, out of the target of 1481 houses to be constructed during the last fiscal (2015-16), 878 houses were constructed for the people living Below Poverty Line (BPL) and 44.88 crore have been spent on these houses.
Meeting was also informed that construction on 43 Panchayat Ghars was completed in last fiscal while work is in progress on 16 other Panchayats and Rs 9.39 crore have been spent on the project under MGNREGA and 13th FC.
Under Swach Bharat Mission the department has spent Rs 7.53 crore to construct 12056 Individual Household Latrines out of the target of 13160 while 56 Community Sanitary complexes were also constructed under the scheme.
During the meeting Abdul Haq stressed the officers to come up with innovative ideas so that MGNREGA be used for employment generation.
He said Budgam district has good potential for fisheries production and asked officers to go for convergence of funds with Fisheries Department so that this high-return industry gets a boost with the help of MGNREGA.
“Let the Fisheries Department come up with plan for construction of fish ponds, we will provide labor budget under MGNREGA for the same,” he said.
Abdul Haq also laid stress on improving connectivity in rural areas. “Better connectivity, flood protection works and sports grounds can be constructed under MGNREGA in the villages,” he added.
Minister asked the officers of Rural Development to make the local Grahm Sabhas vibrant by creating awareness among them. “Gram Sabha doesn’t mean group of persons in a room. If possible beat the drum to make it more inclusive so that every citizen is part of our development process,” he said.
This was the first of its kind review meeting at micro level in Budgam wherein the Minister interacted with officers at ground level including Gram Rozgar Sahayaks and Panchayat Secretaries.