Berhampur: Continuing its efforts to provide livelihoods to the rural masses and create sustainable infrastructure during the pandemic period, the Ganjam district administration has achieved the incredible feat of providing more than One Crore persondays under the flagship MNREGA program. In the first two months of the 2021-22 financial year, Ganjam provided 10104989 persondays as against the annual target of 32881700. The unique attribute of this achievement is it also provided livelihood to the migrants who returned to the state in the wake of the pandemic last year.
This feat has been achieved by the Ganjam District administration as it successfully and effectively implemented this Scheme not only to extend help in terms of wage component during these difficult times of pandemic but also created durable assets to ensure sustainable livelihood of people living in the rural areas. In view of the COVID pandemic and disruptions in livelihoods, concerted efforts by all involved departments were made to provide work to the returnee migrant workers along with other rural people.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had emphasized on creating livelihoods through MNREGA for the returnee migrants and had asked all the district authorities to provide support to the people at distress at this COVID pandemic scenario. He had also emphasized on timely payment of wages to the beneficiaries and regular feedback through Mo Sarkar platform. Ganjam has achieved a nearly hundred percent timely payment of wages i.e., 99.89% percent beneficiaries received their dues on time.
The focus of the administration has been on various community and individual projects in order to provide not only works to people in need but also to create beautiful durable assets which have changed the face of rural Ganjam. Community projects such as Rural Parks, Rural Tourism Circuits, Tanks/Canal Renovation, Check Dams, Multi Utility Tanks, different types of plantation activities and rural connectivity have been taken up under MGNREGA scheme. Similarly, individual projects such as Cattle Sheds, Goat Sheds, Poultry Shelters, Mo Upakari Bagicha, Fodder Cultivation etc, have been taken up in a massive scale on priority basis. Last year, Ganjam district had secured 1st position and generated 2 Crore 41 lakh persondays with an expenditure of 502 Crore 45 lakhs which is a record in itself in Odisha so far as MNREGA is concerned.
In addition to the achievement of One Crore persondays in just two months, Ganjam administration has planned to plant One lakh Coconut and other fruit bearing tress in the field bunds of the farmers during the coming monsoon season. Moreover, one cattle hostel in every Block has been identified for the land less beneficiaries which is first of its kind in entire India.
Speaking to newsroomodisha.com, Collector Vijaya Amrita Kulange has said that “this is a collective effort by all the departments concerned. We wanted that the returnee migrants should be given priority livelihoods so that they do not again migrate outside. The infrastructure created through these persondays will help rural economic development and improve environment.”
According to the Project Director, DRDA, Ganjam, Shinde Dattatraya Bhausaheb, “In the first month of the financial year we achieved more than 50 lakh person days and in the subsequent month the number doubled to one crore. In the coming days, as the monsoon approaches, our thrust will be on rural centric works such as rain water harvesting projects, canal renovation, village tanks, plantation of fruit bearing tress etc.”