Bhubaneswar: In a bid to provide employment to migrant workers who returned to the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Odisha government will take up forestry projects worth Rs 602 crore under the MGNREGA scheme in the current fiscal, a minister said on Sunday.
The government has decided to spend more funds under the rural job guarantee programme for the interest of migrant labourers, state Forest and Environment Minister B K Arukha said.
"The department has formulated forestry projects of Rs 602 crore, which have been approved by the MGNREGA Convergence Committee for 2020-21 fiscal," he said.
Last year, the forest department had spent Rs 70 crore in forestry projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
The projects include plantation, conservation works, and construction of forest road, he said, adding that the forest road repairing works will be taken up for the first time under the MGNREGA programme.
"Under this scheme, the plantation will be executed in 40,000 hectares of area. So far, Rs 65 crore fund has been utilised, and 35 lakh man-days have been generated till August 15 in the current fiscal as against the last year's total utilisation of Rs 86 crore," the minister added.