The Central government on Wednesday gave its go-ahead for MGNREGA workers to take up jobs from April 20 onwards. MGNREGA workers, however, would have to ensure all necessary precautions such as maintaining social distancing and wearing masks to ensure that virus does spread in rural areas.
The ministry said that MGNREGA workers involved in irrigation and water conservation would be given priority. "Other central and state sector schemes in irrigation and water conservation sectors may also be allowed to be implemented and suitably dovetailed with MGNREGA works," the new guidelines issued by the home ministry said. The MHA has also called for "strict implementation of social distancing" for all MGNREGA workers.
As per the revised lockdown guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday, areas that follow the lockdown norms perfectly will be allowed some relaxations from April 20 onwards. The tasks taken up by MGNREGA workers would be focus on irrigation and water conservation as India is preparing for the summer season ahead of monsoon.
Jobs that don't take up more than 3-4 people and can be done while practising social distancing would be encouraged, said the ministry of rural development. Other jobs that can be taken up the MNREGA workers include digging of wells, planting of trees or horticulture trees.
Meanwhile, India has reported 9,756 active cases of coronavirus (as of 8 am, April 15), according to the Health Ministry. Total deaths stood at 377. As many as 1305 patients have been cured or discharged and 1 migrated.