R. Sairam

From 29,155 households in 65 panchayats in the district

Requisite infrastructure is in place

Salary to be paid in cash once a week

MADURAI: The National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme (NREGS) has attracted over 40,000 persons from 29,155 households in the 65 panchayats in the district where it is being implemented in the first phase.

Forty six per cent of the total 62,916 households in these panchayats have enrolled. Registration is complete in all panchayats and women constitute more than 60 per cent, the Project Officer of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), which is implementing the project, Anshul Mishra, told The Hindu here on Friday.

Most of the requisite infrastructure was in place. Around 71,000 job cards were ready with the panchayats for issue. They contain all details of the beneficiary including the person’s photograph.

One of the latest instructions from the Directorate of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Mr. Mishra said, was to stipulate that a bank account should be opened for every individual enrolled in the scheme.

“If the person does not turn up on pay day, salary will be remitted to his/her bank account within 24 hours or the next day.”

Instructions have also come for commencing registrations in the remaining Panchayats, he said.

He said that 431 works had been selected in the 65 panchayats.

The cost estimate had been completed for 213 of them, which alone worked out to Rs. 14.67 crore. “Not a single work selected is below Rs. 3 lakh.”

The types of work undertaken include deepening and strengthening of various water bodies and formation of roads.

Mr. Mishra said that though the scheme was to commence here from April 1, works could not be taken up due to “non-receipt” of funds. He added that funds were expected “very shortly.”

Salary would be paid in cash once a week in the presence of at least four of the six-member Panchayat Payment Committee.