Chandigarh: Punjab Education Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla today said that Punjab School Education department will involve MNREGA workers for creating assets of elementary schools on a mission mode. He said that this initiative will aim at alleviating the sufferings of the people in rural areas and securing their lives and livelihood in these perilous times of COVID-19.
Disclosing this here today, Mr. Singla said that in a cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh it was decided that the state government will converge its funds under various flagship programs to pursue its 2020-2022 Strategy for Rural Transformation and boost employment and push development in villages in the stressed post-Covid environment through active involvement of Village, Block and Zila Panchayats. Hence, to provide job opportunities to rural people, especially MNREGA workers, the School department, in collaboration with Rural Development and Panchayats Department has taken initiative to create assets for elementary schools in rural areas through Mahatma Gandhi NREGS.
He said that under this drive, Department of School Education has been authorized as an independent implementing agency for carrying out the permissible works in schools such as, construction/repair and maintenance of compound wall, Construction of Parks, Playground, Multi-unit toilets, Kitchen Sheds, Anganwari Centres and Soak Pits and plantation works and deployment of Van Mittars.
The Cabinet Minister further added, “This drive shall create transformational changes in school infrastructure. All the deputy commissioners-cum-DPC MGNREGA have been asked for personal intervention to make this program a success and to monitor it closely by holding regular/fortnightly review meetings so that effectively implementation has been ensured.” He said that the rural development department will deploy one Technical Assistance in each district for the sectoral program, who will coordinate with officials of the School Education Department. Besides this, the rural development department will monitor the progress of the drive on a daily basis and staff & state level and district coordinators of MGNRGES will be providing necessary support at any point of time.
Informing about material payment for this project, Mr. Singla said that first installment of 25 percent of material as advance payment to be made on generation of first muster roll of the work code, second installment on completion of 50 percent work and submission of pictures of work code to MGNREGA Head Office, while third installment would be paid on completion of the work.
Education Minister categorically said that school management committee has been entrusted with the work of proposal, resolution and Gram Sabha approval for infra works, GeoTagging of the work to be done by ACs (Smart Schools) after which, demand of card holders will be updated & work will be allocated to them, while concerned deputy commissioner will give administrative sanctions to the project.
Mr. Singla emphasized to ensure that work funded under the NREGA shall be performed by using manual labour instead of machines. No contractors to be involved at any stage of implementing the wage project on the site. He said that registered job card holders will be employed on the NREGA component of the convergence of the project.