People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 23  

June 7, 2009




Tripura Stands Second Among States


Rahul Sinha


CONTINUING the success saga of the previous years, Tripura once again stood second in the country in successfully implementing the rural employment guarantee scheme (NREGA). This success of the state under the Left Front government has been recognised by none other than the union ministry of rural development, which, in recognition, allocated the state with an extra amount of Rs 300 crore for the current fiscal. Rajasthan claimed the first position all over the country in NREGA implementation where an average 72 days of work was provided. Tripura provided an average of 64 days while it had been allocated to provide work for 68 days. Andhra Pradesh comes third all over India.


Apart from allocation of extra money to the state of Tripura, the union government has as a mark of recognition of this success also sanctioned an average of 98 days of work in all the four districts of the state for the financial year 2009-2010. With the additional amount granted, the state will now get a total amount of Rs 813.53 crore for implementing the scheme in the current fiscal.


West Bengal Congress legislature party leader Manas Bhuinya during his recent visit to Tripura had alleged that the implementation of NREGA program was a total flop show in Tripura and the state government, in spite of getting crores of rupees from the centre, has failed to provide people with  more than 50 days of work during the fiscal 2008-2009. That these were blatant lies and baseless allegations of the Congress leader stood exposed now by the recognition of success by the union rural development ministry.


Responding to this success state rural development minister Jitendra Choudhury expressed confidence that Tripura would stand first if the sanctioned amount is released timely for this year. Detailing on the success of the state, he said Tripura has successfully spent 95.5 per cent of the allocated amount in the last fiscal while an average of 64 days of work was provided out of 68 days for which money was sanctioned by the centre. The rest 4.5 per cent of the money remained unspent as the amount of Rs 50 crore was released in the last week of March 2009. The minister pointed out that there was 100 per cent success in implementing the scheme in North Tripura district, for which  the central ministry had sanctioned money to provide only 45 days of job in the last fiscal. In the Dhalai district 99 days of job out of the 100 days sanctioned was provided to the people who had sought work under the scheme. In  South Tripura district also the success rate was 100 per cent with  64 days of work provided as per the allocation of money from the centre. In West Tripura district, 62 days of job was provided out of the allocated 64 days.


Apart from the high rate of spending the allocated money to provide work to the rural masses, the state government has also used this program successfully for creating permanent public assets in the rural areas of the state. In the last financial year alone 9696 number of water bodies spread over an area of 2136 hectares have been created which is helping in water conservation, irrigation and pisciculture. People in the rural areas are earning money not only from the wages of NREGA but also from these ponds and water bodies which have been created by the NREGA works. These water bodies are being used for fish production, resulting in higher earnings for the rural people. The program has also helped in increasing rural connectivity. Cobwebs of roads are now a common phenomenon in the rural areas of the state. In the last fiscal alone a total of 11,090 works of rural roads amounting to an accumulated length of 7750 kilometres have been constructed through the NREGA programme. Also 947 kilometres long irrigation canals have been constructed to provide assured irrigation for 4867 hectares of agricultural land. Plantation for drought management was done in 2525 hectares. In total in the last fiscal 3.51 crore man days were created benefiting 5,49,022 families.


The state rural development minister further said that unlike last time, the centre has allocated an amount of Rs 813.53 crore for providing on an average 98 days of job to the people in all the four districts of the state for the current fiscal. And to spend this money more effectively, the state government is strengthening the implementing infrastructure. As a part of this exercise 700 more people, including Gram Rojgar Sevaks and computer operators will be employed by the state rural development ministry as soon as the Panchayat elections scheduled in July are over. In addition to this, an online system will be introduced to ensure more transparency. Sanctions for projects from now on will be given only through online mechanism. Furthermore  it has been decided that the wages henceforth will be paid only through individual bank accounts of the job card holders. There are around 6,13,000 job card holders in the state. Around 50 per cent of them have personal bank accounts while accounts for the rest will be opened by June, he said.