Bengal tops in 100-day work programme again

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Kolkata, Jan 27 (PTI) West Bengal generated 36 crore person days under the 100 Days' Work scheme to get the first position in the country and bag the National Award four times in a row, the state government said on Wednesday.

'In the current year also, with 36 crore person days generation and 1.1 crore workers engaged, West Bengal is Number 1 in the country today,' the government said in a statement.

The state 'receives National Award continuously in 100 Days' Work for the last 4 years', it said.

At least 6,46,299 migrant labourers were provided with jobs while 3,81,604 such workers got new job cards, the statement said.

The West Bengal government, since the launch of the 'Duare Sarkar' drive in December has received over 11 lakh requests for job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NGNREGA), a senior official said on Wednesday.

'Duare Sarkar' is an initiative of the state government for delivery of specific schemes at the doorsteps of people through camps organised at the level of gram panchayat and municipal ward.

'Over 2.53 crore people have visited 26,036 Duare Sarkar camps between December 1 and January 25. Of them, 11,38,960 people sought job cards under the MGNREGA,' an official data released by the state government revealed.

A significant proportion of the migrant workers, who returned to the state during the lockdown but did not apply for job cards initially thinking of going back to the states where they had migrated in search of livelihood. Now they have applied and this could be a reason behind the surge in the number of applicants, an official said.

'Another reason is people have lost jobs and but did not get new employment. They have applied for job cards,' he said.

Around 14 lakh migrant labourers had returned to the state since March last year when the lockdown was announced in the country to check the spread of COVID-19. PTI SCH NN NN