The drought in the Marathwada region seems to be pushing thousands of unemployed people towards the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
At present, around 45,000 workers are under the scheme in the region. The number of workers in Jalna is the most at 16,500. However, around 4,000 gram panchayats in the region have not started work under this scheme.
Farmers cannot till the land for want of water and construction work has also been halted. This seems to be resulting in the rush to MNREGS.
The government has sanctioned several developmental works under the scheme at various places. At present, 3,062 works, including 2,214 at the gram panchayat level and 848 at the administrative level, are under progress. In all, 45,744 workers have been employed for these works. Around one lakh works have been sanctioned in the Marathwada region.
There are 6,644 gram panchayats in the eight districts of the region. However, only 2,214 gram panchayat have started on the development works, so in the remaining 4,430 gram panchayats those who went for the scheme aren't engaged in any work.