This refers to column published in Daily Excelsior ‘Utilize NREGA funds for Snow clearance’ by Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat (8.1.2019). The basic aim of enacting National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) by Congress led UPA-I Government was to ensure employment guarantee (Rozgar Guarantee) to those marginalized communities who were not able to get work in their villages or nearby towns and thus migrated to cities and towns in search of work. After enactment of MG-NREGA migration from rural to urban areas has come down to a great extent in Bihar , Orrisa , Jharkhand like states. Prior to enactment of NREGA most of the labour force used to migrate from these states towards Mumbai , Delhi , Lucknow , Hyderabad and other cities. Even lot of Bihari labourers used to come to Kashmir during summer months but that has also come down to a great extent and the main reason is that labourers are now able to find work in their own villages under NREGA.
In winter months there is huge migration from our hilly areas especially from hill districts of Kupwara , Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Bandipora. As the author has mentioned in his piece, the snow clearance work if included under NREGA, will not only make our rural roads clear from snow but this will also generate livelihood for people within their villages itself. We can keep our roads in good condition as timely snow clearance will not damage the roads plus migration from these hilly areas will come down drastically. I appeal K K Sharma Advisor to Governor , Chief Secretary BVR Subramanhyam and Secretary Rural Development Department Sheetal Nanda to explore the possibilities of utilizing NREGA funds for Snow Clearance work.