26th November 2022
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TUMAKURU: SHAKTHIPEETA FOUNDATION

T.R.Raghothama Rao. Railway R & D

tr_raghothama@yahoo.com

Using the Scope of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and  execution of  new Railway Projects

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the Centre has to decide to go for real asset creation. This will enable Jump Starting the execution of Railway New Railway line works Project works & also for rural job creation, extend the Scope of MGNREGA’s through Convergence 

We are aware that the Central Government initiating many Steps to tackle the Challenges due to Corona virus impact on Economies and Job creation factors. In the past few attempts were made regarding the scope of MGNREGA for utilizing the its funds for manual work to create new Railway line facility. It is fact that the MGNREGA has the scope of creating durable assets and as much employment. This is very important in these difficult times, to meet two concurrent goals—one, to put more money in the hands of poor Man power and to creating productive assets. As per revised guidelines under MGNREGA’s there is scope taking up the works of other departments with Convergence to create Social/Physical infrastructure. Manual work is enlarged resulting in creation of Social infrastructure/other physical infrastructure for income generation and increasing productivity through convergence with other works with the scheme as labour component.  It is agreed in the past that the ministries of railways and rural development will share the cost of engaging the MGNREGA workers. This will help in the real asset creation under the MGNREGA scheme. Hence in the year 2013, the Ministry of Railways mooted the idea of roping in the funds of the MGNREGA for the infrastructure development of the railways,

As I understand, that during tenure as Loksabha member Sri G.S.Basavaraj , in the year 2010, had made several request letter to then ministry of Railways, to mention one Letter No MP/CR/4016/09-10 dated 8-01-2010 to examine the scope of MNREG and to take  up with the Ministry of Rural Development for utilizing the MNREG funds for manual work to create new Railway line facility, where ever such projects is Socially desired project and financial viability is not attractive. The civil work like Earth work, manually stone jelly preparations, shifting the same and storing the ballistic stones all along the proposed new railway line project, Platform formation, earth work for construction of Station Buildings, can be executed by engaging the Project area locals and labour charges paid out of MNREGA funds. Thus Railways will be savings to that extent of labour portion of expenditure. This exercise will also make locals feel proud of their involvement in the National project of their area.

Taking cue from the MGNREGA revised guidelines, an attempt was made during 2013; the Indian Railways took up a pilot project in partnership with the Rural Development Ministry and Maharashtra government availing MNREGA funds for construction of new Broad Gauge line between Nanded and Yavatmal.  Rural Development Ministry has agreed to notify certain works in the 191-km-long Nanded-Yavatmal section under the ambitious rural job scheme MNREGA on 50:50 model in which Railway officers, Maharashtra officials and Rural Development Ministry officials will jointly work it out to implement the project in Nanded-Yavatmal section.

In context of above all mentioned facts, Hope that the Government of India   wings Ministry of Railways together with the Ministry of Rural Development for availing MNREGA  funds for execution of new Railway projects of Karnataka state especially where GOK agreed to provide lands free of cost and to share the 50% of the Railway project cost .Hope That the Government of India and Government of Karnataka connecting together will take up the    to take up the following two most important projects of central Karnataka dry/drought hit zone of the state.   Let these projects be taken on pilot basis by using MNREGA workforce, as this will create durable assets under MNREGA and also bring savings to the Ministry of Railways/State Government  infrastructure funds.

[A] Tumkur-Chitraudrga-Davanagere new rly line project now under initial stage r execution. The state Govt agreed to provide lands free of cost and to bear the 50% of the project cost

[B] Tumkur-Rayadurga new Railway line project a socially desired project only 30% work is completed. The GOK, AP Govt and agreed to share the cost of the project.

MNREGA funds are meant to be utilized for creation of national assets.  Labor like earth excavation work and for other Railway works discussed earlier is required for the new rail lines. The work under MNREGA will provide employment opportunities in village panchayats near the line .hence this suggestion.