During the prevailing situation of COVID-19 Pandemic, the Rural Development Department (RDD) Kashmir has remained on the forefront for containment of the coronavirus outbreak and has undertaken various initiatives in Kashmir Division in coordination with the members of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and District Administrations.
The department has conducted a number of cleanliness, sanitization and fumigation drives in various congested residential areas including the Red zones. Besides, Awareness Management committees at Block and Panchayat Levels were constituted to mitigate and containment of COVID-19 Pandemic. These committees have actively participated in providing succour to the needy people including labourers from various states and destitute in the hour of need.
Due to continuous lockdown, the labourers who earn wages on daily basis could not find a way out to supplement their earning, and it is in this perspective the Union Government issued directions for the resumption of MGNREGA activities with some SoPs. Pursuant to these directions, the Union Territory of J&K also conveyed for the resumption of MGNREGA activities and in this regard the Advisor BK to the hon’ble lieutenant Governor emphasized the need for adherence to the social distancing, use of masks and personal sanitation at the worksites and that focus should be on Irrigation and Water Conservation Works, Construction of Ponds, Wells. Horticulture related activities etc.
Accordingly, the various activities under MGNREGA have been resumed, and besides completion of the ongoing works, various new works including Irrigation related, land development, PMAY units, etc have been taken up for execution. Also, to get the first-hand information, field visits and review meetings have been taken in various districts to have an on-spot assessment of the progress achieved in this behalf.
In addition to the above, wide publicity has also been made through local print media where job cardholders under MGNREGA have been advised to register their demands in order to get the employment to earn their livelihood. Further, the MGNREGA workers have been advised to adhere to the precautionary measures w.r.t social distancing, use of masks, frequent washing of hands owning to current COVID-19 pandemic situation. As on date, besides various ongoing works, 1952 new works have been taken up under MGNREGA wherein 18661 Job cardholders have been engaged and about 26293 person-days have been generated.
In addition for the distribution of re-usable cotton masks to priority and non-priority households, services of local tailors/boutiques, KVIB and services of 656 Self Help Groups of NRLM and Women Development Corporation have been utilized for the production of these masks. As on date 42.44 lakh re-usable cotton masks have been procured out of which 38.31 lakh masks have been distributed among health Officials, Frontline workers and the general public (priority/non-priority beneficiaries) with a priority of distribution of masks in Red Zone areas. Also, 22308 pamphlets depicting Do’s and Don’t’s related to COVID-19 have also been distributed among the people.