Mangaluru, Feb 05, 2019: Urban Development Minister U.T. Khader said here on Monday that the Union government had not released Rs. 2,059 crore to the State towards the bill of works taken up under the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the current financial year. Hence, the State government is contemplating footing the bill.
Addressing presspersons Mr. Khader, who is also in-charge of Dakshina Kannada, said that though the State has sent reminder letters, the Centre has not yet released the amount. In doing so, the Union government has violated MGNREGA, he alleged, adding that it should have released the amount as many districts in the State are facing drought.
The government has now relaxed the conditions for releasing the 14th Finance Commission grants for emergency drinking water projects in gram panchayats. Accordingly the panchayats can spend any amount without upper limit on these projects. The decision has been taken in view of the drought in the State. The panchayats should make the best use of this to supply drinking water.
Mr. Khader said that the government has ordered the release of Rs. 1 crore each to 100 taluks, Rs. 50 lakh each to 69 taluks and Rs. 25 lakh each to 14 taluks to tackle drought.
In Dakshina Kannada, seven taluks would get Rs. 50 lakh each. In that, half of the fund has been released to each taluk. If needed, the remaining Rs. 25 lakh would be released too.
In addition, he said city corporations will get Rs. 50 lakh each, town municipalities will be given Rs. 25 lakh each and each town panchayat would get Rs. 10 lakh for drought mitigation work. The Deputy Commissioner here has Rs. 5 crore reserved for emergency drinking water supply works.
He said that bids have been invited for dredging in Thumbe vented dam across the Netravati which supplied drinking water to the city.