As India Stares at Water Crisis, Govt Allocates Rs 60,000cr for Conservation Projects Under MGNREGA
As per government data, the budget estimate for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program in 2018 was Rs 55,000 crore, while in 2019 this was increased to Rs 60,000 crore.
Image for representation of workers under MNREGA. (Reuters)
New Delhi: With the Centre's emphasis on completing a million projects linked to water conservation under the rural employment scheme MGNREGA in the first 100 days of the government, the union budget allocated Rs 60,000 crore - an increase of 9 percent from last year.
As per government data, the budget estimate for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program in 2018 was Rs 55,000 crore, while in 2019 this was increased to Rs 60,000 crore. An official said, "The scheme is one of the most important mitigators for rural areas where water scarcity is a problem. It allows rural incomes to be generated, while focusing on conservation of natural resources."
Earlier, Secretary in the Department of Rural Development Amarjeet Singh had told PTI, "We have set a target of completing one million natural resource management (NRM) projects mainly linked to water conservation in first 100 days of this new government."
Out of these 10 lakh projects, more than 2.5 lakh will be built in the 1,192 stressed blocks selected for Jal Shakti Abhiyaan. These projects are also expected to be finished in the first 100 days, Sinha said. The government has launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, a water conservation campaign with an emphasis on 1,593 stressed blocks in 256 districts across the country.
In a statement, the Rural Development Ministry said it has mainly taken various water conservation projects under MGNREGA which include check dam, ponds, renovation of traditional water bodies etc. "The list of activities are so designed that it suits the varying requirements of the states according to their topography. This has resulted in many of the states pooling their own resources along with MGNREGA funds to take up water conservation work with a lot of enthusiasm," it said.
The Rural Development Ministry has also drawn Mission Water Conservation Guideline in partnership with the Ministry of Water Resources to focus on the dark and grey blocks where the ground water level was falling rapidly.
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