Railways to Launch ‘Pilot Project’ under MNREGA

Railways will launch a pilot project in partnership with the Rural Development Ministry and Maharashtra government availing MNREGA funds for construction of broad gauge line between Nanded and Yavatmal.

Rural Development Ministry has agreed to notify certain works in the 191-km-long Nanded-Yavatmal section under the ambitious rural job scheme MNREGA.

“A pilot project on 50:50 model in Maharashtra will be launched. Railway officers, Maharashtra officials and Rural Development Ministry officials will work it out to implement the project in Nanded-Yavatmal section,” Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said here today.

The decision of the pilot project followed after meeting between the Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Kharge yesterday at Rail Bhawan.

MNREGA funds are meant to be utilised for creation of national assets.

“We can create assets through MNREGA. Labour like earth excavation work is required for the new rail line. The work will provide employment opportunities in village Panchayats near the line,” Kharge said.

Though the Railways had sought MNREGA funds for rail projects during the tenure of the then Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Rural Development Ministry had reservations about the proposal.

However, it is learnt that the issues were resolved after the meeting of two ministers.

Asked about the strike threat of railway unions, Kharge said, “Whatever we could do we will do. But whatever is beyond our control we will discuss with them.”