UP govt employs 300 workers under MNREGS on river restoration project

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Home / Lucknow / UP govt employs 300 workers under MNREGS on river restoration project

The Uttar Pradesh government has begun work to restore the Kalyani river in the Barabanki district with the aim to provide employment to around 300 people including migrant workers during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The work, to be covered under the MNREG scheme, is being done on a 2.6 kilometre stretch in the Mavaiya area of Barabanki in an attempt to restore the river that is turning into a ‘nullah’.

Deputy commissioner, MNREGA-Barabanki, ND Dwivedi said, “Yes, we have begun work on a stretch of 2.6 km from Mavaiya to Holi Purwa in Barabanki for restoration of the Kalyan river. A budget of about Rs 59 lakh has been earmarked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) for the river restoration project. We propose to create work for about 30,000 mandays by making the river 1.5 metre deep and 25 metre wide. We hope to complete the work on the present stretch by June 30.”

The source of the 170 km long river is Dhannag lake, a pilgrimage centre on the Barabanki-Sitapur border. Authorities hope the restoration work will help in ensuring smooth flow of the river which ultimately merges with the Gomti river in Ayodhya.

The restoration work on the river will likely continue in other parts of the state as well, creating more jobs including for migrant workers.

“This is a small stretch of the river. If the work being carried out under MNREGA is found satisfactory, more such stretches will be undertaken to restore the river all along its course,” said a district functionary associated with the MNREGS.

A campaign demanding restoration of the Kalyani was launched in 2013. But it drew the attention of district administration only recently.

“The Kalyani loses all signs of being a river right from the Dhannag lake (a large part of which is in Sitapur), the point of its origin where a fair is also organised on Kartik Purnima every year. A dried up stretch of about two kilometres is the only sign of the river’s origin from the lake. About a 30 km stretch of the river from Khujji to Nigoha is being illegally used for farming. Later, water seepage from the Sharada canal reaches the Kalyani and it takes the shape of a river in some parts,” said Ram Lakhan Shukla, convenor of the Save River Campaign launched in 2013.

“The district administration’s decision to launch the restoration drive is a welcome move and will ensure flow of water in the river,” he added.

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