The Jharkhand government on Monday launched three schemes under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in a bid to “revive the rural economy”, affected by the lockdown in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 9 lakh people from the state are stranded in various parts of the country because of the lockdown and sources in the government say over 6 lakh people are set to come back soon.
The three initiatives launched on Monday were the Birsa Harit Gram Yojana for rural plantations, Neelambar Pitambar JAL Sammridhi Yojana for water conservation and the Poto Ho Khel Vikas Scheme for making playgrounds.
Under the Birsa Harit Gram Yojana, over two lakh acres of land will be used for afforestation. Five lakh families would be given nearly 100 fruit-bearing plants, with initial plantation, maintenance, land work and afforestation to be taken up through MNREGA. Each family is estimated to receive an annual income of Rs 50,000 annually from the produce, the third year onwards.
Under the Jal Sammridhi Yojna, water storage units will be constructed to store rainwater and runaway ground water. This scheme will primarily implemented in the Palamu division, which faces severe drought.
Under the playground scheme, the government aims to develop 5,000 grounds, with at least one in one Panchayat. There are around 4,300 panchayats in the state.
Rural Development Department Principal Secretary Avinash Kumar said the rural economy is hit and the government needs to create employment opportunities for those who will return from other states. “In Birsa Harit Gram Yojna, Rs 660 crore will be spent in a year, in which, Rs 520 crore will be the only wage component, leading to the creation of employment of 270 lakh person days and assets in 2,20,000 hectares. Under the Jal Yojna, Rs 1,200 crore will be spent with 90% being the wage component. For playgrounds, we will develop 1,000 in one year, generating employment of 850 lakh person days,” he said.
Speaking about the schemes, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said his focus will be on proper implementation.