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Centre stops job scheme funds for CM’s cleanliness mission in Rajasthan

The Centre has asked the Rajasthan government to stop using national rural job scheme funds for a village cleanliness drive in the state, said officials familiar with the development.

jaipur Updated: Feb 24, 2018 21:05 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,CM’s cleanliness mission,Centre stops
Mukhyamantri Swachh Gram Yojna aims at making Rajasthan villages clean and creating awareness about cleanliness among the rural people besides encouraging them to recycle biodegradable waste.(AFP File Photo)

The Centre has asked the Rajasthan government to stop using national rural job scheme funds for a village cleanliness drive in the state, said officials familiar with the development.

In 2016, chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced Mukhyamantri Swachh Gram Yojna (MSGY) to ensure cleanliness in villages and boost the Prime Minister’s dream project Swachh Bharat Mission, which set a target to make the country open defecation-free by October 2, 2019.

The state government linked the village cleanliness scheme with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for partial fund support. The Centre has now directed the state government to arrange funds for the cleanliness scheme through other means.

State panchayati raj minister Rajendra Rathore confirmed that the Centre had stopped diversion of MGNREGA funds for the cleanliness scheme. The union rural development ministry issued the directive in this regard on February 9.

Rathore said, “The state government will try to fund the scheme through the Swachh Bharat Mission.”

On February 20, the director of SBM in the state asked district authorities to stop providing manpower to the CM’s cleanliness scheme through MGNREGA.

“Till date, we were providing manpower for the scheme through MGNREGA as per the state government’s direction,” said ML Nehra, the chief executive officer at the Barmer Zila Parishad. “Now, we have got the new direction not to spend MGNREGA fund in Mukhyamantri Swachchh Gram Yojna. We have stopped providing manpower.”

The CM’s scheme aimed at making villages clean and creating awareness about cleanliness among the rural people besides encouraging them to recycle biodegradable waste.

The scheme was launched only in panchayats which were open defecation-free. As part of the scheme, the state government directed MGNREGA authorities in the districts to appoint two sweepers in each cluster -- covering 150 households.

The government also directed that dustbins be installed for every 10 to 15 families and e-rickshaws collect the garbage from the dustbins and transport it to the treatment plant for disposal.

Out of 489 panchayats in Barmer district, the scheme could be launched only in 75 panchayats. Even after two years, no dustbins or e-rickshaw have been purchased, officials said.

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 21:05 IST