LUCKNOW: The huge influx of migrants in Uttar Pradesh during the Covid-driven lockdowns turned into an opportunity as the state achieved the annual target of 26 crore man-days under the MNREGS in just six months. The state created a record 26.1 crore man-days.
Having met the annual target under the scheme 100 per cent for the first time in many years, the state government had started awarding work to the migrants from April 21 just around a month after the Centre imposed a nationwide lockdown bringing down economic and financial activities to a screeching halt.
Notably, UP received around 35 lakh migrant workers from across the country during the pandemic is driven lockdown period.
Thus, the scheme proved to be of immense help in providing jobs to migrants who came back leaving their jobs and livelihood to rural areas in large numbers from every corner of the country amid as the pandemic was witnessing an upsurge.
As per a state government spokesman, CM Yogi attributed the achievement of the target to the implementation of the scheme in a strategic manner while carrying out various important works including the revival of rivers, ponds and plantation of trees.
For example, to make optimum use of the huge workforce available in the state, the UP government embarked upon reviving 21 rivers which were considered to be dead or endangered.
The plan was based on a two-pronged strategy. First, around 12 lakh people, mostly the migrant workers who had returned during the lockdown, got employment through this endeavour. Secondly, the revived rivers came handy in boosting irrigation facilities to a great extent.
The river revival programme had targeted 21 rivers of which two -- Mandakini (which finds mention in the epic Ramayana) and Tamsa -- have already been rejuvenated while work is on to revive the remaining 19, including Tedhi, Manorama, Pandu, Varuna, Sasur, Khadedi, Sai, Aril, Morva, Naad, Karnavati, Baan,
Sot, Kaali, Poorvi, Daadhi, Eshan, Boodhi Ganga and Gomti, which pass through 39 districts of the state.
“All these activities helped the state government in providing jobs to the migrants,” Yogi said.