OTHER STATES

NREGA yet to hit targeted section

Staff Reporter

`Lack of coordination at official level`

BHUBANESWAR: Former member of the National Advisory Council and one of the main advocates of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) Jean Dreze said the programme was yet to hit the targeted marginalised section of society.

Mr Dreze, who was here recently to participate in a meeting convened by OREGS-Watch Group, an e-group on Orissa Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, said the programme continued to suffer due to lack of adequate coordination at official level as well as awareness among people.

He, however, said the NREGA would surely revolutionise rural economy but would take time for everything to fall into place. Mr. Dreze said creating 100 days of employment and building rural infrastructure were not the only objectives of the act but it would help check forced migration of labour and non-payment of minimum wages, sexual harassment of women and lack of educational facilities to their children.

Loopholes

Touching upon many loopholes in implementation of the act in the State, the OREGS representatives said non-issue of job cards to all people, entry of contractors in the programme, irregularities, official delays and non-existent of grievance redress mechanism marred the programme.

Participating in the discussion, Revenue Secretary to the State Government G.V.V Sharma said the fund earmarked for the programme should be spent to create force of skilled manpower rather than daily labour who continued to involve in earthwork.

Among others Ashok Dalwai, RDC Northern Division and Achyut Das of Agragamee, a voluntary ogranisation took part in the discussion.