CHENNAI: After the state government scaled up engagement of Mgnregs workers from 50% to 100% in 25 districts, about 10 lakh workers have joined the rural employment guarantee scheme until Friday. Mgnregs funds and workforce are being used for desilting supply irrigation channels in the delta districts to ensure free flow of water once Mettur dam is opened on June 12.
Besides the delta districts of Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam, more people have reported for work in Tirunelveli, Madurai , Nagapattinam, Sivaganga, and Ramanathapuram districts with desilting of water bodies and other labour-intensive work being taken up by the district administrations. "The delta districts will see a high turnout next week with the government permitting desiltation of feeder channels under Mgnregs. Chief secretary K Shanmugam has asked district collectors to send completion report by June 5," said an official. The government has hiked the daily wages to 256 for Mgnregs workers.
Compared to last year, Tiruvarur has seen a 187% increase in turn out. Nagapattinam reported 150%, Thanjavur 109% and Tirunelveli 159% increase on Friday, compared to the same date last year. Namakkal, Tirupur, Erode and Krishnagiri have also seeing considerable increase.
"We have taken a decision to offer more job opportunities, primarily because of Covid-19. We have taken village-wise list of workers and have given new job cards as well," said Tiruvarur collector T Anand.