raput district in Odisha was conferred the national award under the schemes District award for effective initiatives in National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) administration in the 9th (MGNREGA) Diwas. Koraput is one among the nine districts in the country, which were selected for the prestigious MGNREGA National Awards
Koraput is an OMEGA (Odisha Modernizing Economy, Governance and Administration Programme) pilot district. OMEGA is a programme funded by Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by IPE Global, a leading multi-disciplinary managementconsulting firm that focuses on the development sector.
IPE Global’s OMEGA team has been working in Koraput, Similiguda and Boipariguda blocks since the last two years. The team at Koraput has been working in close collaboration with District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) officials and BDOs.
Koraput even with availability of abundant natural resources is virtually cut off from the mainstream of development. Shorter cycles in shifting cultivation, weaker linkages between forest and agriculture production systems, increasing fragmentation of land holdings etc. pose a threat to the subsistence agriculture practised by the rural communities. Besides, the presence of Left Wing Extremists (LWEs) in some parts of the district has worsened the development scenario in the district in the last couple of years.
The initiation of MGNREGS in Koraput in 2006 was aimed to combat these challenges and make remarkable progress in development of the region. One of the major issues in MGNREGS that restricts its performance in the district is delay in wage payment. Out of 226 GPs in the district, only 54 GPs have access to bank and for the rest, the wage payment is made through post offices. Though eFMS is being implemented across the State, post offices are yet to come to its fold. The OMEGA district Team has been closely working with the district administration and monitoring the delayed payment cases and have facilitated quick payment disbursement options for workers in the district.
“A year long constant effort of both District Administration and OMEGA fetched result in the year 2012-13. The Scheme started engaging more and more number of people. Fund absorption under MGNREGS enhanced along with increased person days. Plantation of cash crops were also undertaken under National Horticulture Mission and MGNREGA. Another, contribution of the OMEGA team was their efforts in initiating social audit pilot in Public Distribution System (PDS) at Mahadeiput GP of Koraput Block with the support of the BDO,” said Ashwajit Singh, chairman & MD, IPE Global.