Food processing,fisheries,horticulture now part of NREGS

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme will no longer be restricted to digging ponds or building roads in the state.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:February 20, 2009 1:14 am

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) will no longer be restricted to digging ponds or building roads in the state. Rearing silk worms,working on food processing units of the Horticulture Department and even growing medicinal plants are now a part of the scheme.

The state’s department of rural development has included 11 news tasks. These include fisheries,cultivation of medicinal plants,irrigation projects,infrastructure resources,minor irrigation projects through associated NGOs,plantations of jatropha,cultivation of horticulture plants and working for state-owned food processing units associated with the horticulture plantations and others. The revised system will be implemented from April 1.

Explaining the idea behind the move,Additional Commissioner,Rural Development (NREGS) Anurag Yadav,said: “How many roads will you build in a village? How many ponds will you dig?” These tasks,he said,are not sustainable and hence they decided to involve other departments in the scheme.

“Workers doing seasonal work like cleaning fruits to be processed or cutting them will also be included in the NREGS,” he said. “People employed for these tasks on daily wages will also have job cards and will be paid accordingly.”

The department has already spoken to the state horticulture department and the horticulture board for all possible support.

R Prasad,Additional Director,Horticulture,said: “Several units are associated with us in villages and here,we aim to employ job card holders for seasonal work. This will give jobs to women too,who cannot do heavy tasks like digging or road-building.”

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