Drones to Monitor MGNREGA Work
The Union Ministry of Rural Development will use drones more frequently to check on work sites under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) programme, increasing both the quantity and quality of assets generated.
Drones will be used for four sorts of monitoring, according a standard operating procedure (SOP) that the Ministry recently released: surveying the ongoing operations, inspecting the finished works, impact assessment, and special inspection in case of complaints.
The Union government mandated that every worksite attendance be recorded via a specifically created mobile-based application starting in May 2022.
According to the Act that controls the plan, there shall be one ombudsperson per district who is in charge of registering suo moto complaints and resolving them within 30 days. The SOP specifies that the ombudsperson will employ drones.
According to the SOP, “the Ministry has agreed that the Ombudsperson may employ drone technology facilities for virtual verification of the works for efficient monitoring and redressal of grievances.” It has instructed State governments to give ombudspersons access to the facility as needed.
The States are not receiving any additional funding from the Union government to use to deploy these drones. The administrative head, or around 10% of a State’s MGNREGA budget, is supposed to provide the finances that the State governments need. Instead of buying drones, the Union administration has instructed States to work with drone-specific entities.
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