Created 7.6 cr mandays of work, spent Rs 7.118 cr on poor, claims UP govt

Uttar Pradesh had generated a whopping 7.6 crore plus mandays of employment and had already utilised Rs 7,118 crore under the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan (GKRA) since its launch earlier this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said state’s additional chief secretary (ACS) for rural development and panchayati raj departments, Manoj Kumar Singh.

The employment was created under projects such as ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’, ‘Chief Minister Awas Yojana’, ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’, ‘Panchayat Ghar’ scheme, and those related to community toilets’ construction, minor irrigation, horticulture and forestry projects, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the scheme on June 20 this year to alleviate the economic distress caused to migrant workers and rural population due to Covid-19. The scheme contained multiple provisions for immediate assistance and also employment and livelihood opportunities, Singh added.

Uttar Pradesh witnessed the highest level of reverse migration with an estimated 3.7 million (37 lakh) migrant workers returning from other states during the lockdown, according to official estimates.

“The state is working towards creating an ecosystem to enable migrant workers and vulnerable families to sustain and promote livelihoods. To this effect, the state has been engaged in the collection and analysis of data of returnee migrants, skill mapping of migrants to link them to the industries as well as creating opportunities at the local level. To give a perspective, skill mapping of about 30 lakh returned migrant workers was undertaken,” said Singh giving a glimpse of the exercise undertaken by the state.

The rural development and panchayati raj departments have been in the thick of action since the migrants’ reverse exodus began.

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Singh said owing to the concerted efforts by the state, there was an unprecedented rise in the number of people employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

“Around 62.5 lakh labourers were employed in a single day on June 26 on the launch of the Self-Reliant Uttar Pradesh Employment Campaign. So far, wages of Rs 4,500 crore have been disbursed in the last four months to workers in the state, which is almost equal to the entire wage disbursed in the last financial year,” he said.

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Singh added that under the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan, the UP government had taken up construction of more than 30,000 community sanitation complexes in 31 districts of the state.

“Initiatives like these will be the key to providing livelihood to our migrant population. This pandemic is far from over and as we continue to battle against it, we are determined not to lose sight of the larger picture of ensuring inclusive development,” the bureaucrat said.

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