| Forest and panchayat minister Rakibul Hussain inaugurates the system in Nagaon on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Nagaon, Sept. 13: In a bid to usher in greater transparency and accountability in NREGA works, Assam today became the second state in the country to introduce geographic information system (GIS) to decentralise the planning, monitoring and implementation process.
GIS would enable the state rural development department to properly implement the act as real time data would be available.
Rural development minister Rakibul Hussain inaugurated the system and said once the system covers the entire central Assam district it would be expanded throughout the state.
According to the new system, two GPS machines would be used for tracking the scheme sites that would later be uploaded into the system. When a viewer opens that specific website, he or she would be automatically redirected through Google Earth to the remote sensing map where NREGA works would be spotted with scheme titles and code numbers.
Each of the schemes would again be included in the NREGA server through which a viewer could go to the management information system (MIS) to know details of each work, including the grassroots-level information.
“We are grateful to Nagaon deputy commissioner P. Ashok Babu for his mission to introduce the concept in the Northeast. We hope the GIS system makes NREGA works more transparent and monitoring of work more friendly,” Hussain said.
In 2009, Gujarat introduced the GIS system for monitoring the state’s employment guarantee works.
A high-level source in the Union rural development ministry today told The Telegraph that a 16-member expert group, headed by secretary B.K. Singha, recommended the ministry long back to introduce the GIS system in NREGA works and asked to take Gujarat as the base model as it had done a “fair amount of work” on the use of GIS.
“The ministry aims at strengthening decentralised participatory planning process, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of works under NREGA by using GIS and Geo-ICT tools,” the ministry official said.
Ashok Babu today said till now the district had purchased two GPS machines and junior engineers working in 18 development blocks have been trained to use them. Data collection for all NREGA schemes is going on and part of the work has been entrusted to the junior engineers, he added.
“There would be a separate cell where data uploading and all related works would be done,” Ashok Babu said.