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Government taps MGNREGS to put money in affected people’s pockets

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In an attempt to provide a source of income to people affected by Cyclone Gaja, the State government has been hiring them under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts.

Between November 16 and 27, as many as 17,38,047 people were provided employment in the four districts, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

Normally, a person could be given work for 100 days a year under the scheme, preferably during the lean agriculture season.

“The move has been very useful to the people. We aim to provide employment to at least 200 persons in each village,” Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Principal Secretary, Agriculture, told The Hindu . The villagers were being employed for works such as roadside bund formation and clearing of channels and bushes, he said.


Mr. Bedi is monitoring relief and restoration work, along with J. Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Health, and K. Baskaran, Director of Rural Development, in Nagapattinam district. Mr. Baskaran is personally overseeing the MGNREGS works in the affected districts.

Power supply restored

Mr. Bedi said power supply was restored in Vedaranyam town on Monday, with 28 out of 31 transformers having been repaired.

Explaining the way relief and restoration work was being managed, Mr. Bedi said an IAS officer or a senior District Revenue Officer had been nominated to supervise the work in each of the six affected blocks of Vedaranyam, Thalaignayiru, Kilvelur, Keezhaiyur, Nagapattinam and Thirumarugal. These officials would report to the monitoring officers. Five sub-teams (Except in Vedaranyam, the worst-hit block, where 10 teams have been deployed) comprising sub-collectors and deputy tahsildars were coordinating restoration work in each block. A Minister had also been put in charge of each block.

Around 8 p.m. every day, the monitoring officers would review the restoration work with Ministers. The feedback from officers in the field and Ministers would be taken into account for appropriate interventions, he said.

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