An ‘eye in the sky’ to keep a watch on rural job projects
New Delhi: There will be an ‘eye in the sky’ soon — one that would monitor the progress of government-run projects in the rural areas. What is more, not just babus in the Ministries, everyone can see the state and status of the projects. According to a senior official in the Ministry of Rural Development, a project that would allow the public to view the real-time progress of projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) would be soon up and running.
The Ministry is reportedly considering a tie-up with Google or the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for sourcing the satellite images. The official said that images of projects started under the rural jobs scheme would be superimposed on a regular basis on the satellite images. Alternatively, the ISRO application that could be used for this purpose is Bhuvan, a software that provides high-resolution three-dimensional satellite images of the earth’s surface.
The images, which would be uploaded on the Ministry’s Web site, would not only show the progress of projects under the MGNREGS, but also related information such as allocated funds, amount used, the date by which the project must be completed, and the current status. Visitors to the Ministry’s Web site would be able to search for the status of work in any part of the country, up to the village panchayat level.
The Ministry official said that currently the Department had maps up to the block level, which show boundaries only up to the block or tehsil levels, wherein each block has a group of panchayats under it. However, they are working towards providing the information right up to the village panchayat level. The availability of information in the public domain in this system, which is easy to view, find and comprehend, is likely to give a big boost to the Government’s efforts to increase accountability and transparency.
Earlier, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had also pushed for and received clearance from the Cabinet for concurrent, or real-time, evaluation of the schemes under the Ministry. This new project appears to be taking the objective of that evaluation to a new level.
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Date 23-05-13, Duration 1:44, Views 69