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Railway projects in rural areas can be under MGNREGA: Bansal

Posted on Feb 13, 10:24AM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 12 : The railway ministry has asked the rural development ministry to bring its projects in far-off and rural areas under the rural job guarantee scheme.

"A number of our projects in railways, including regular maintenance, require unskilled labour forces. Most of such works are connected with earthwork, construction and maintenance of embankments, cuttings, trenching, filling, developing water ways and clearing vegetational growth," Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said in a letter to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.

"A number of these works are being undertaken in remote rural areas ... I find that the deployment of rural population in schemes under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) is quite similar to the requirements of railways of such specified works".

Bansal suggested that various works connected with the railways should be notified to be done under various schemes of MGNREGA and project identification be undertaken jointly at the level of district magistrates and railways officers.

"This arrangement would not only open up more options for gainful employment of rural population but also help Indian Railways expedite its projects and fulfil the need of regular maintenance of tracks and development of adjoining land," he said in the letter.

Bansal said his ministry would be open to discussing various modalities, including sharing of limited cost component for deployment of human resources through various schemes under MGNREGA.