Staff Correspondent

DHARWAD: Farmers will get benefits under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to develop land up to five acres from this year.

Speaking at a special review meeting under KDP here on Thursday, Chief Executive Officer of the Dharwad Zilla Panchayat C. Shikha said that earlier the benefits under the scheme were extended to develop only farmlands of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, small and very small farmers and beneficiaries of Indira Avas Yojna. However, rules had been relaxed to enable all farmers to develop land up to five acres under the scheme, she said. Ms. Shikha said that under the scheme, there was a provision to earmark 10 per cent of grants in the action plan for developing connecting roads to farmlands and it had been increased to 20 per cent now. Reviewing the water supply scenario in the district, she directed the taluk panchayat officers to visit villages to ensure that people faced no water shortage.