Government to carry out pilot study on green effects of MGNREGA
The Rural Development Ministry aided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will undertake a pilot study on the environmental benefits of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in 14 gram panchayats. The seven states are Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
The Ministry has confirmed that the Watershed Support Services Network (WASSAN) Hyderabad, will be responsible for organizing the programme and developing a green assessment framework for it. WASSAN is involved with community-based natural resources management programmes across India.
Based on a study of NREGA in five states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, The Indian Institute of Science and other institutions had earlier suggested that NREGA be largely linked to water conservation. The scheme has been successful in generating environmental benefits such as improvement in ground water levels and availability of drinkable water in many states.
The pilot study to be carried out by the Narendra Modi Government in the months of April and May, 2017, will help determine the methodology and tools for conducting green audit after due consultations with the Ministry, UNDP and WASSAN. Writing to senior officials of the seven states the Ministry urged them to provide requisite support in conducting the study.