Bhanjanagar: Frequency of lockdowns and shutdowns during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has left the economic backbone of the people in tatters in Ganjam district. Keeping in view the difficulties of people, the government has implemented a host of income-generating and labour-intensive schemes in the district to ensure that there would no dearth of work.
However, some schemes like MGNREGS and Mukta Yojana are progressing at a tardy pace in Bhanjanagar sub-division, a report said.
According to the report, the administration has set a target to create 10,000 workdays under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for people in each panchayat under Bhanjanagar sub-division. However, most of the projects under the rural job scheme have made little progress.
In urban areas, the state government has also launched Mukhya Mantri Karma Tatpara Yojana (Mukta Yojana) to ensure scope to work for the people at the time of pandemic. Under the scheme, the government aims at promoting activities associated with expansion of green cover, creation of community centres, storm water drainage, rainwater harvesting, sanitation and peripheral development around water bodies.
This scheme is also being implemented in Bhanjanagar NAC. However, it was alleged that the number of jobs the project should have generated has not materialised due to shutdown restrictions.
Engineer of the NAC, Sushant Kumar Sahu said that the scheme has been launched and it is being executed by self-help groups.
Under the scheme, three rainwater conservation projects will be built in each ward on an experimental basis. Aside from that, paintings will be done on boundary walls of government offices. Such activities will generate scope of earnings for the people. However, it has been alleged that people are unwilling to work at this time.
Bhanja Pradhan, a representative of Sanakodanda panchayat, said that many people are, in fact, reluctant to work because of fears of Covid transmission. As result, many projects are not being completed as per scheduled. He added that this scheme is being executed where people are interested.
Krushna Swain, the representative of Dadaralunda panchayat said that the administration is insisting on achieving the target. “Another problem is that due to delay in clearance of wages by the Central government, daily wagers and job card holders fail to get salaries on time. This has resulted in failure on part of the administration to achieve the target,” Swain informed.