MGNREGS leveraged to alleviate rural distress during Covid-19: Punjab CM

CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

As Punjab gets ready to utilise the additional allocation to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) to help the poor, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said that the state had undertaken significant labour-intensive works in the villages to effectively leverage the scheme even during the lockdown.

The state government also plans to undertake a special drive this year, to enrol more workers and make new job cards to bring more families under the ambit of the programme. This initiative is aimed at creating a sustainable response to address rural distress arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, announced the Chief Minister.

Giving details of the new initiatives, the Chief Minister said that the ponds’ renovation work, launched in a mission mode by the Rural Development and Panchayats department, is covering all the 13,000 villages of the state for the cleanliness and sanitation of villages, along with generation of employment opportunities for workers.

Meanwhile, the CM announced 100% potable piped water connections to all rural households in Punjab by March 2022. In a video conference with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, he said that as of 1 April 2020, of the 1,634 habitations in which the groundwater was impacted, 477 have already been provided with potable water. He said that the plan to provide piped water is in line with the target set by the Punjab government before the conceptualisation of Jal Jiwan Mission by the Central government.