|21 February 2007|
Press Release No. 105/07
REVIEW MEETING ON MREGS HELD AT TURA
The first review meeting of the District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee on Meghalaya Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MREGS) was held at the Circuit House, Tura, West Garo Hills District on February 16, 2007 under the chairmanship of Mr. Purno. A. Sangma, MP of Tura.
During the review meeting, a block-wise report on the process of implementation till date was given by the Programme Officers (BDOs) in their respective Blocks and most of them reported 80-100 percent participation by the villagers.
Mr. Sangma, who is also the Chairman of the Committee, said that the scheme has tremendous potential for uplifting village economy. Expressing his happiness to see the keen participation of the rural people during his field visit to some villages, he said that the response shown to the scheme is an indication of people’s acceptance where Social Audit by the NGOs can help prevents misuse of fund by any agency. He suggested that college and higher secondary school students should be taken to MREGS villages and church leaders be involved for effective participation. He also stressed on the need to conduct inter-block experience sharing of Area Employment Councils (AECs) from time to time and suggested that video documentation be done on the success stories of those villages that are doing well in this scheme for motivating them in other villages of the State and elsewhere. He exhorted all the Programme Officers to work whole-heartedly with zeal and enthusiasm and to give 100 percent dedication to the programme.
Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills and District Programme Coordinator, Mr. P. Sampath Kumar informed that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was launched in 200 districts of the country on February 2, 2006, while in West Garo Hills the scheme was notified only on April 1, 2006 and the Meghalaya Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MREGS) was published on July 28, 2006. As such, the implementation of the scheme in West Garo Hills District could not be compared with other districts of the country, he said. Besides, due to absent of Panchayati Raj system in the district, the constitution of Village Employment Councils (VES) and Area Employment Councils had entailed considerable time, he added.
Stating that MREGS is a demand-driven scheme, the Deputy Commissioner said it was necessary to sensitize and mobilize the workers for which the NGOs had made a concerted effort and the scheme was formally launched on November 14, 2006, simultaneously in all blocks in the district. While the demand for work was initially not heavy mainly due to Christmas and New Year festivities, mobilization of job seekers was conducted and from second half of January onwards, the response of the people have been tremendous and transformation of villages is found where 100 percent job card holders are participating in the execution of the schemes, unlike other districts where only 30-40 percent workforce have been reported to participate in the programme. He also informed the Committee that he had personally reviewed the implementation of the scheme in all the block headquarters of the district involving the AEC secretaries.
The Deputy Commissioner informed that it was not possible to allot work to all the VECs due to non-availability of fund, adding that, proposals were being submitted to the Centre for release of second installment and hoped that all villages would be covered under the scheme with March 31, next.
Others present in the meeting included, Mr. Edmund. K. Sangma, MLA, Mr. Billykid. A. Sangma, MLA, other members of the Committee, the Project Director DRDA and Additional District Programme Coordinator, Mr. R. P. Marak and all BDOs and Programme Officers of the district.