in the vicinity, which too have dried up in the recent years. Hansraj, a village elder, estimates that the tank with 16,000 cu m storage capacity will offer an assured irrigation to 80 ha of farmland. “My wheat yield will simply double,” he says.
The focus on using MGNREGA for water conservation is definitely yielding results in term of enhanced agriculture and availability irrigation locally. This has economic benefit in long-term. Amit Mathur, MGNREGA in-charge of Ajmer, says, “Getting such works done has helped people in two ways. First, they received cash as an immediate relief. Now, they are using the land and irrigation facilities to grow vegetables, which will offer them regular income.” During the four months till July, the government has spent about
65 lakh on the works; close to 70 per cent of it went to people as wages.
Enthusiasm can be clearly gauged from the completed works. In states like West Bengal that received a large number labourers who had left the state earlier, a huge amount of works have been completed between April and July this year compared to the same period last year. Over 72,000 works related to natural resource management have been completed this year, compared to just 7,000 during the whole of last year. Bihar, another state with a high number of people returning to their state, completed nine times
Uttarakhand chief minister wants agricultural activities to be included under the employment scheme to ensure people do not leave their villages again