On MNREGA pitch, Pune district scores a zero

YetOf the 1454 works sanctioned in the past three years, not a single project has been completed yet

Of the 1454 works sanctioned in the past three years, not a single project has been completed yet.

Originally implemented to generate employment among the rural masses and ebb the tide of migration to urban areas, MNREGS has clearly failed in Pune district. Over 1,400 projects had been sanctioned in the district in the past three years. But not one is near completion.

The recent report of the Auditor General of Maharashtra about implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) reveals that while 1,454 works had been sanctioned during this period in Pune district, with a budget head of more than Rs 10 crores, not a single work has been completed.

Admitting the sorry state of affairs, Milind Pathak, deputy collector in-charge of Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) branch of the district collectorate, said that the majority of these projects have not been issued completion certificates. "The works we undertake requires a mixture of skilled and unskilled labour. While the unskilled portions are over in time, the skilled portions take time. Some works like afforestation take almost three years to be completed, and in Pune district 25 per cent of the work relates to plantation work," he said.

At the district level, the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) has been given the responsibility of overseeing work under the Scheme.

Pathak also said that a government resolution had recently been passed, directing the Pune district authorities to complete all skilled work within May 31. "We will try to finish the work within the stipulated time and issue completion certificates," he said.

Meant to be a major source of employment for the rural people, works like drought-proofing, plantation, desilting of wells and road construction are some of the works undertaken under MNREGS. The MNREGA or Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act promises to generate employment for people in villages and build rural assets, which in long term should help ebb the tide of migration to urban areas.

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