By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, April 26, 2018: Odisha has topped the list at national level in many important performance indicators in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) like geo-tagging of the projects, creation of household level assets, convergence in construction of Anganwadi Centers and Rural Housing by scaling up its performance in, officials said on Thursday.

“In geo ID generation of the assets created under the scheme, the State has achieved 98% against national average of 96%. State is now at the top with 81% in creation of assets at household level under the scheme. Odisha has also topped the list in convergence of MGNREGS with anganwadi construction and rural housing”, Principal Secretary Panhayati Raj Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh told media persons.

In 2017-18, about 5420 anganwadi centers have been completed and under rural housing scheme, around 7.35 lakh beneficiaries have been assisted. Around Rs 689 crore was disbursed to beneficiaries of rural housing towards wage assistance in this year, Singh added soon after a review meeting chaired by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here.

In the meeting, target was set to scale up utilization level to Rs 3000 crore during the current fiscal. Padhi directed different departments to take up more projects in convergence with MGNREGS for creation of additional jobs and assets while development commissioner, R.Balakrishnan asked the officials to take up road connectivity projects to remotest areas under the scheme in convergence with state funds.

It was further decided to include drinking water projects in remote tribal areas under the scheme, officials added.

Some 7427 farm ponds /multi-purpose farm ponds have been completed under MGNREGS during 2017-18. Similarly, 2338 number of dug-wells, 1234 play grounds, 3,473, vermin compost pits, 4566 water bodies renovation, 9549 land development projects, 3074 check dams and 16,644 rural connectivity projects have been completed under the scheme during the year. The percentage of fund utilization in agriculture and allied sectors from the scheme has been scaled up to around 72% against national average of 68%.

During 2017-18, Odisha has utilized highest ever amount of Rs 2515 crore from MGNREGS and has created 9.22 crore person days of engagement. The utilization in the FY 2015-16 was around Rs 2000 which was raised to around Rs 2100 crore in 2017-18.

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