SRIKAKULAM: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has proved to be a boon for many labourers of Srikakulam district during the Covid-19 pandemic. The district achieved 27 lakh man-days with more than Rs 56 crore wage component in April, the highest in the state.
According to District Water Management Agency (DWMA) officials, the State government set a target of 248.71 lakh man-days, with a wage component of Rs 609.34 crore, for the district for the financial year 2021-22. The DWMA provided 5,57,586 job cards to unskilled labourers in 1,096 grama panchayats of 38 mandals in the district.
For migrant labourers, who returned home from outside the State due to the pandemic situation, the MGNREGS has become a huge relief. M Laxmi of Kongaram village of Etcherla mandal told TNIE that she was working as a daily labour in the construction sector in Hyderabad before Covid. Due to Covid restrictions, she returned to her native village. Soon after, she got work under the MGNREGS.
“Though the daily wage is less compared to what I got in Hyderabad, it’s a big relief,” she said, adding that she will not return to Hyderabad anytime soon. Speaking to TNIE, DWMA project director Hanumanthu Kurmarao said, “We achieved this month’s target within 24 days and the district is first in the state in providing man-days and wage amount generation. The workers are following Covid-19 guidelines. We have a huge demand for new works due to Covid. Many migrant workers who returned home benefitted from the scheme.”