Rural job scheme norms hit Swachh Bharat drive
In February 2017, the Centre had directed officials to ensure construction of toilets in the households, not listed in the baseline survey, under MNREGS.jaipur Updated: May 20, 2018 21:56 IST
The Prime Minister’s dream project Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) took a hit in Rajasthan as guidelines of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) proved to be a constraint to construction of toilets, said officials associated with the cleanliness drive.
SBM covers households listed in the baseline survey of 2012, so many families lacking toilets were not included in the cleanliness drive. In Barmer district alone, 105,446 families were left out of SBM, making them ineligible for
Rs 12,000 given for construction of individual household latrines (IHHL), officials said.
According the baseline survey, Barmer district has 4.5 lakh households and 3.86 lakh were without toilets. It was later found in another survey that 105,446 more families lacked toilets.
In February 2017, the Centre had directed officials to ensure construction of toilets in the households, not listed in the baseline survey, under MNREGS. The Centre issued the new guidelines to make the country open defecation free by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Norms stipulated in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) came in the way of construction of toilets, officials said.
“We got the directive from the rural development ministry to cover the left-out families under NREGA. Under NREGA rules, a labour-material ratio is maintained at 60:40,” said Suresh Kumar Dadhich, additional project coordinator, MNREGS, in Barmer.
Under SBM, the government provides Rs 12000 to each household for construction of a toilet. “We got the direction that design and budget for toilet construction even under MGNREGA will remain the same as for SBM,” Dadhich said.
“According MGNREGA norms, out of Rs 12000, we have to spend Rs 7200 on labour component and Rs 4800 on material. With this fund allocation norms, it was not possible for us to construct toilets according to the design and budget of SBM,” he said.
“When we estimated the construction cost of a toilet, we found that only the material component requires Rs 10000, which is not matching with the guidelines of MGNREGA. Hence we are not able to give sanction for construction of toilets under MGNREGA,” Dadhich said, adding that no toilets have been constructed in Barmer under the rural job scheme.
First Published: May 20, 2018 21:56 IST