Jharkhand: MNREGA Yet to Start in Some Villages; Survey Suggests

A survey was conducted by the Right to Food campaign in the state between second and third week of May, which later suggests MNREGA jobs are yet to be initiated. However, the status of the public distribution system (PDS) during the same has improved as compared to the past months such as April.

The survey, which was based upon many things including telephonic reports observation on the ground in 46 blocks of 22 districts in the state. This also focuses on essential services in the state such as PDS system, ration shops, MNREGA, Dal-Bhat Kendras, community kitchens, banking services among others.

On May 4th, Hemant Soren, the chief minister of Jharkhand had rolled out three new schemes under the MNREGA i.e. Birsa Harit Gram Yojana, Neelambar Pitambar JAL Sammridhi Yojana and Poto Ho Khel Vikas for those coming from outside to the state, which numbers could be in between five to six Lakhs.

Survey highlights, that unemployment remains a significant problem un the state, particularly in rural areas. Therefore, people are wanting to apply for MNREGA jobs. The convenor of Rights to Food, Asarfi Nand Prasad said, ’29 out of total 46 observers reported that MNREGA, works have begun, but we don’t have job cards, while other said that due to complex process of this it is difficult to obtain that too, as many blocks have no programme officers to run.

The operation of Dal-Bhat Kendras have improved a lot this time, as we have found earlier it was not much active. A 40 out of 46 blocks, the cardholders are getting free ration in this month. However, two kilograms of free ‘Daal’ has not been provided in 35 out of 46 blocks.

Besides this – the mukhyamantri dal-bhaat kendra are functioning in more blocks. Didi Kitchens are also running in gram panchayats of the 46 blocks, the survey says.

Mr. Prasad emphasises the need of PDS to be universalised so that large people can have its benefits during the ongoing crisis. A large labour intensive works should be started across villages in the state and the mode of payment to be made on weekly basis.