Staff Reporter

Some features of the implementation of NREGS to be replicated

Local leaders of various political parties cry foul, saying migration still continues in the district

The district won appreciation for standing second in the country in the implementation of scheme

BERHAMPUR: Ganjam district has become a place to visit for administrators from outside the State after it be declared the second best district in the country in implement of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Disturbing factor

But the continuing trend of large-scale migration of unskilled labour from the district to other States puts doubts over the claims of the administration. The district ranked second in the country in the implementation of the scheme as per the achievements by the end of March 2008.

Dungarpur district in Rajasthan stood first.

Ground-level study

A 26-member team from Chhattisgarh was on a three-day visit to Ganjam district to make ground-level study and learn from the Ganjam experiment. The study ended on Wednesday.

During the visit, they interacted with Collector V.K. Pandian and visited some villages where NREGS work was on.

Worthy of emulation

The team comprised the Additional Project Directors of the DRDA, Block Development Officers, sarpanchs and computer programmers from Bastar, Kanke and Dantawade districts of Chhattisgarh.

The visiting team said it would try to replicate some features in their State like the toll free helpline to check irregularities during implementation of NREGS in remote areas. The efforts to make all wage payments through bank cheques also impressed them.

But local activists were finding it hard to swallow the official claims regarding success of the NREGS in the district.

State secretariat member of the CPI(M) Ali Kishore Patnaik termed it a “bogus”. Senior leader of the Congress C.R. Das was also sceptic.

“Expenditure of money and creation of assets under NREGS on official records does not mean the scheme has been successfully implemented.

Unskilled labour in remote parts of the district are still ignorant of the project and their migration for work still continues,” he said.