Bhubaneswar: The Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI) will now be implemented intensively in all the 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the State.
A total 342 dedicated professionals and domain experts have been positioned in the ULBs. A two-day (April 19-20) orientation programme is being organised for the professionals to orient the newly inducted personnel on the scheme, guidelines and implementation strategy. The two day training programme in virtual mode is organised for the personnel in all 114 ULBs to carry out the programme.
Principal Secretary G Mathi Vathanan, DMA Sangramjit Naik and senior officers of the Urban Development department interacted with the team on key deliverables and timelines for the programme.
The UWEI was launched in April last year during COVID-19 lockdown to help the informal workforce in the state’s 114 ULBs. Under the initiative, around Rs 100 crore was allocated for all labour-intensive projects in the ULBs for providing temporary employment to the urban poor.
It is apprehended that COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to push vast majority of informal sector workers in India into poverty with the lockdown and other containment measures affecting jobs and earnings, the circular adds.
“In Odisha, about one-third of the people in the urban areas (approximately two million) may face severe consequences especially with reduction of working hours, decrease in wages and abrupt layoffs. In this context the government has decided to implement UWEI for enabling the urban poor, who are mostly working in the informal sector, get immediate wages by execution of labour intensive projects.
As per the Urban Development department, in last 9 months, more than 6,000 projects have been completed under the initiative with an expenditure of Rs 70 crores and 13 lakh person-days generated. At least 3.5 lakh workers participated in the initiative of which 40 per cent were women.