Centre to assist Uttarakhand farmers under MNREGA



New Delhi: The Rural Development Ministry will provide all assistance to farmers in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand for restoration of their ponds and clearing fields.

The assurance was given by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to his Cabinet colleague and Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat who had sought assistance under MNREGA for the flood-hit agriculture sector in the hill state.

"You have asked for liberal assistance under MNREGA for repairing of drainage systems, creating new drainage systems, clearing farmer fields, restoration of local ponds and other such activities."

"All the activities that you have identified as priority are permissible under MNREGA and I am asking my officers to be in touch with Uttarakhand Government to get concrete proposals in this regard and have them implemented quickly," Ramesh said in his reply to Rawat, who wrote a letter seeking assistance.

In his letter to Ramesh, Rawat, a Congress leader from Uttarakhand, had said that farmers have lost their fields and ponds as they are covered with debris, sand and soil.

Days after the calamity, Ramesh had announced a separate Rs 340 crore special package for Uttarakhand for constructing village roads in the flood-ravaged hill state.

The Rural Development Minister had also said special assistance would be given to Uttarakhand for constructing village houses under its ambitious Indira Awas Yojana (IAY).

PTI