Centre to send special team to monitor NREGS in Manipur

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IMPHAL, June 10: Expressing surprise at Manipur’s achievement on NREGS he said he will send a special evaluation team to the works taken up under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

The minister was briefing newsmen at the Old Secretariate conference hall today at 11 am.

The Union Minister said, “Manipur completed 80 days under the scheme, whereas for the rest of India is at 45 days only. The state has witnessed 32 % turn out of households for the work, compared to 8% for the rest in the nation.”

He added, a special evaluation team will be sent here to study the achievements. Jairam also announced an increased sanction of 900 crores for this year as compared to 650 crores last year for MGNREGS.

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh will provide 670 crores for development of the rural roads program of the state for the ongoing fiscal year. The Manipur Institute of Technology (MIT) has been assigned as the State Technical Agency for preparing project reports for road development.

“ Without peace there will be no development and without development there will be no peace, they are flip sides of a coin, from the centre there will be no problems of funds for road development”, the Union Minister guaranteed mediapersons during a press conference held at south secretariat hall today morning.

Stating that progress has been slow in rural road development, he said that his visit is prioritized on the issue.

According to statistical reports, there are 1004 habitations in the state, each habitation has a population of more than 250 and has to be connected by all weather roads. Mentioning that sanction had been made for 450 habitations, only 54 % of the sanctioned sum has been utilized till date.

“For 2012/13, we will sanction 670 crores to connect 300 villages. We are determined to ensure connectivity of all the remaining villages within 4 years at the maximum”, he assured.

The detailed project report for rural road development is technically examined by the State Technical Agency (STA).

“Unfortunately, the STA examination for Manipur is done at Silchar and comes to Delhi, Manipur Institute of Technology in Imphal has been appointed as the STA”, he said.

He had also advised the Chief Minister to outsource the project preparation to expedite the road development process of the state, manly in the hill areas.

Further, he also announced approval of Rs 64 crores pertaining to Water supply and Sanitation of the state. Jairam voiced dissatisfaction for implementation of the Bharat Nirmal Scheme.

“Out of 116 gram panchayats, only two are ‘Nirman’panchayats, there must be no open defecation and special attention is needed to make every village a Nirmal village within the next five years”, he said.

The grant for Nirmal scheme will be increased from Rs 3,500 to 10,000, he mentioned.

A sum of Rs 10 crores will be given for assisting Self Help Groups,but the Minister complained of absence in banking network, “Out of 60 block headquarters, only 30 have bank branches”, stating it as a responsibility of the Centre for developing SHGs, he assured that the matter will be taken up with the Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister.

Jairam gave assurance of increasing the Indira Awaj Yojna scheme budget from Rs 45,000 to 75, 000 after bringing up the matter in the union cabinet.

He urged the need to conduct social audits for proper implementation of the central schemes, mentioning that there has been visible developments in the state, Jairam stated , “ In the next three years, Manipur will witness development as seen in the last twelve years”.

The funds for Rural Road Development for next year will be 780 crores totaling 1450 crores in two years.

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh will provide 670 crores for development of the rural roads program.

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