DRDA’s efforts fail to improve rural livelihood

[Prafulla Kaman]

RUKSIN, Mar 22: Even though the government has spent huge amount of money in implementation of rural development schemes under the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) in East Siang district, the poverty status of rural people in the district has not improved much in the last few years.
PRI leaders and individual beneficiaries have revealed that the state government’s efforts for rural development have failed to improve the living standard of the people as the schemes under DRDA are not properly implemented in the district.
Sources from Pasighat DRDA informed that the department, through its four community development blocks is implementing schemes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes (MGNREGA), Prime Minister Awas Yojana-Grameen (PMAY-G) and Integrated Wasteland Management Project (IWMP).
The DRDA has set target to build 797 dwelling houses for BPL beneficiaries under PMAY (G) scheme during the current plan, out of which 58 houses have been sanctioned in different villages under Ruksin block, bordering Assam.
It received fund of Rs 260.24 lakhs under the PMAY (G) schemes for 2016-17 year, and accordingly completed tender process for procurement of CGI sheets. The first instalment (Rs 25,000) has been transferred to beneficiaries concerned through DBT.
But, it is alleged by PMAY (G) beneficiaries that funding pattern of central sponsored scheme meant for Arunachal Pradesh is defective, while the sanction amount (Rs 1.30 lakh) is quite inadequate to construct a dwelling house.
As per schematic provision, a total amount of Rs 50,000 is paid to a beneficiary against RCC structure, wood and bamboo wall cost, while another amount of Rs 80,000 is deducted for GCI sheet (roofing materials).
“It is almost impossible for us to develop RCC posts with wood and bamboo structures to build the PMAY house with the small amount. The government should rectify the policy for increasing construction costs to meet the housing expenditure”, rued Bisom Paron, a PMAY (G) beneficiary of Ralung village under Ruksin block.
Officials in the department say that higher ups of the Rural Development department have given feedback about the challenges faced in implementation of PMAY (G) schemes, but no effective policy has been formulated so far to rectify the project design.
On the other hand, the DRDA received fund amounting to Rs 666.28 lakh for implementation of MGNREGA schemes during 2017-18. The department reportedly completed 45 MGNREGA projects, while 59 ongoing projects are under progress. The total number of projects taken up during 2017-18 is 68.
Sources further informed that the district is implementing IWMP in its two blocks- Pasighat and Nari. A total amount of Rs 84.29 lakhs was allotted in two phases during the years- 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively.
The DRDA has proposed as many as 2,772 schemes under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) for the year 2017-18, which is awaiting sanction.
Moreover, no scheme under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and SGSY for funding of individual Swarozgars and Self Help Groups has been sanctioned for last few years.