March 12, 2016
100 Days’ Work Scheme and Nirmal Bangla: Leading the way in India
Rural Bengal has progressed tremendously under the Trinamool Congress Government over the past five years. Panchayats are the agents through which the Government’s development programmes for the rural populace are implemented.
Two programmes in which the State has performed very well and has received glowing commendations are the 100-Days Work Scheme and Nirmal Bangla.
The Panchayat and Rural Development Department has ensured more job security and creation of durable assets. The State Plan expenditure has increased over five times to Rs 38,214.14 crore during 2011-2016, as compared to that during 2006-11.
100-Days’ Work Scheme
There has been more than double the rise in the expenditure incurred under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generations Scheme (MGNREGS), also known as the 100-Days’ Work Scheme, during 2011-15, to Rs 18,742.72 crore, as compared to that during 2007-11. A total of 95.73 crore person-days were generated during 2011-16.
The State has achieved unique milestones under this scheme. West Bengal reached its peak during 2013-14 by generating 23.15 crore person-days, the highest in the country. In 2014-15, owing to the non-availability of adequate fund from the Government of India like in the previous year, only 16.77 crore person-days could be generated although in terms of expenditure the State retained its premier position with an expenditure of Rs 4,014.89 crore and a pending liability of Rs 1,823.12 crore.
Women’s participation in MGNREGS has increased to 41%, which is an all-time high in the State. The other major achievements lie in a series of innovative activities including mango orchards in Bankura and Purulia districts, support to Indira Awas Yojana housing, cowshed, goatery and poultry sheds under Individual Benefit Schemes, reclamation of land, leading to productivity enhancement, and convergence with different programmes of other departments.
Due to an outstanding convergence model, Lego Gram Panchayat in Bankura district received a national award for overall and effective performance in MGNREGS during 2012-13. Convergence in MGNREGS is now attempted in a big way and different departments are pumping in their resources to enhance productivity through combined initiatives.
Mission Nirmal Bangla
Mission Nirmal Bangla has been a revolutionary scheme of the West Bengal Government, aimed at making the State open defecation free (ODF), and it has had a great success. In 2014-15 alone, the State’s Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) count was 8.47 lakh, the highest in the country.
Among the top four districts in the country, in terms of making them ODF (counted on the basis of the construction of individual toilets), Nadia is at the number one spot and is immediately followed by Hooghly and Bardhaman. In record time, Nadia district has reached out to all the households and constructed more than 3.47 lakh toilets to ensure that everyone in the district has got access to sanitation.
Thus we can see that West Bengal has made tremendous progress in rural development. It is now one of the top performers in the country.