NREGS works fail to take off in Telangana
- Afraid of coronavirus, labourers avoid joining work under the job guarantee scheme, say officials
- The officials expected that the rural unemployed would come forward to take up works during the lockdown
- They are sustaining with the ration and financial assistance being provided by the Central and the State government
Hyderabad: Thought many people are facing financial difficulties in villages due to lockdown, they are not coming forward to join works to earn a living under the MGNREGS due to scare of coronavirus, say government officials.
Since the beginning of the new financial year, the works have not been taken up in the villages, officials said. They said that though they have been trying to instill confidence among the wage seekers they were not coming forward. Though anti-corona steps have been taken up in implementing the scheme it was not progressing. The NREG scheme is intended to provide work to the unemployed rural labourers. The Centre has granted about 13 crore person day in this financial year. The Rural Development department oversees the implementation of the scheme. There are about 1.09 crore active workers in the State.
The officials expected that the rural unemployed would come forward to take up works during the lockdown. The lockdown has been imposed in the past three weeks.
As there were no works in the rural areas, the RD officials expected that the unemployed would utilise the scheme to earn some money. The Centre raised the wages under the scheme to Rs 230 per day. It has been exhorting the RD officials to begin the NREGS works so that the poor could earn some money during the lockdown period.
However, most of the villages are under lockdown and the labourers are afraid to take up works. They are sustaining with the help of the ration and financial assistance being provided by the Central and the State governments.
The works under NREGS suffered a halt since March 12 as the field Assistants had gone on strike. The strike was called off in the third week of March. The officials tried to restart the works later but failed in their endeavors.
The steps being announced by the officials to instill confidence among the workers like providing face masks, ensuring social distance and others have failed to convince the workers.