LUCKNOW: With the resumption of the construction activities, the Uttar Pradesh government is set to engage lakhs of workers who returned to their native villages from big cities as they were rendered jobless due to the ongoing lockdown. The step likely to give an impetus to the rural economy.
The state government is contemplating to use this immense workforce in the rejuvenation of 16 rivers flowing through 39 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The state government is preparing a road map for the project by engraining the migrant labourers under Mahatama Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).
The state Rural Development department has written to the DMs to commence work outside the hotspot areas in their respective districts. The circular issued by the department said that the migrant labourers who had returned home after losing their jobs should be given job cards under the MNREGS and engaged in irrigation and water conservation projects on priority.
All the district magistrates were told through the circulars that 16 rivers crisscrossing 39 districts of the state were identified for revival.
The 16 rivers identified for revival are Gomti, Varuna, Manorama, Tedhi, Pandu, Aril, Morwa, Mandakini, Tamsa, Naad, Karnawati, Baan, Sasur Khaderi, Sayee, Sot and Kaali Poorvi. These rivers crisscross the entire state while flowing through Bahraich, Gonda, Basti, Auriyya, Kannauj, Kanpur, Pratapgarh,
Fatehpur, Prayagraj, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Kaushambi, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Luckow, Jaunpur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Shahjahanpur, Pilibhit, Baduan, Bareilly, Chitrakoot, Ayodhya, Ambedkar Nagar, Mirzapur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Etah, Kasgnaj, and Amroha.
According to Principal Secretary, Rural Development, Manoj Singh, the roadmap would help reducing the economic distress being faced by the labourers. He claimed that youth seeking jobs under MNREGS may be immediately given job cards in their respective villages.
Singh said that as per the guidelines of the Centre, works under MNREGS would be conducted outside the containment area, for which the state government would follow all necessary guidelines of the Centre.
As per the sources, the Rural Development Department would also issue a renewed job card if the original one is lost. At the gram panchayat level, tribal communities like Tharu, Vantangiya or even Musahars would be given new job cards.
The move has come days after the Centre raised the MNREGS wages for Uttar Pradesh from Rs 182 to Rs 201. The labourers given job cards under MNREGS would also be engaged for other projects such as the construction of irrigation wells, check dam, and farm ponds to meet the challenges of the upcoming summers, especially, in Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions marred by the water scarcity.
Besides, the workers can also be engaged in projects such as the formation of structure to ensure groundwater conservation, removal of silt from water bodies, preparing the land for massive plantation drive, works related to land reforms and development of grazing fields, construction and restoration of drains, construction of housing facilities under PM Awas Yojna and Mukhyamantri Awas Yojna, and construction of toilets, the official said.