The Centre has lauded the state government’s initiative in implementing the projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
In Delhi, the award was handed over to Dibyendu Sarkar, commissioner MGNREGA. The award has been given for improving livelihood through convergence under MGNREGA.
The Panchyat and Rural Development department has successfully implemented the projects under MGNREGA. To abolish open defecation, the department has taken major step and Nadia has been declared as open defecation free district.
North 24-Parganas and Hooghly will soon follow the line. Under the scheme, toilets would be constructed in each household. Though no money is provided to maintain the already existing ones, the department has also made provision for the purpose.
It may be recalled that Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee had told senior officials of the department that steps should be taken to stop open defecation much before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the central scheme.
The plantation of Vetiver grass in Nadia is another success story. Steps have been taken to plant this grass along 744-km banks of six rivers. They are Jalangi, Mathabhanga, Bhagirathi, Padma, Churni and Ichamati. The grass helps to prevent soil erosion. Once completed, this will be the biggest project in the country. More than 50 nurseries have been set up in Nadia where the grass is grown. Before it used to be brought from Tamil Nadu but now the additional expenditure has stopped.
The department is also producing bricks from fly ash and this has helped women to become economically stable. The fly ash is brought from Bandel thermal power plant.
In Bankura and Nadia, such plants have been set up and this would benefit more than 50 ST families in Nadia. The bricks will be used to make rural roads.
The bricks are cheaper than those available in the market.
The leapers in Bankura have been brought under the main stream of life. They are growing vegetables and are involved in making orchard.