Odisha Govt Issues Guidelines For Implementation Of UWEI

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Housing and Urban Development Department has issued guidelines for the implementation of the Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI) under the UNNATI.
Principal Secretary to Government, G. Mathivathanan, has issued a letter to all Collectors & DMs/ All Commissioner & Executive Officers of ULBs in this regard.
The letter read: “The current lockdown measures imposed in response to COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the livelihood opportunities of the Urban Poor. It is apprehended that the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to push the vast majority of informal sector workers in India deeper into poverty, with the lockdown and other containment measures affecting jobs and earnings.
In Odisha, about 1/3rd of the people in the urban areas (approximately two million) may face severe consequences especially with the reduction of working hours, decrease in wages and abrupt layoffs.
In this context, the Government has decided to implement Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI) for enabling the urban poor who are mostly working in the informal sector to get immediate wages by the execution of labour-intensive projects. This Initiative may be considered as a component under UNNATI to tackle the COVID-19 situation which will be executed in all the 114 Urban Local Bodies of the State for a period of six months. Further, provision for Rs 100 Crore is made under UNNATI for spending under this new initiative. The scopes for which the projects can be taken up are given detailed below:
Under UWEI, works will be identified in ULBs that will provide temporary employment for the urban poor and simultaneously support monsoon-preparedness and creation of public asset and maintenance in ULBs. Odisha receives high-intensity rainfall for a short spell and the idea is to conserve rainwater, prevent flooding and beautify urban areas in the state. In order to retain rainwater, water harvesting structures are to be constructed that will minimize runoffs through stormwater drains. The conserved water will then be used to recharge groundwater sources like natural ponds and reservoirs. Added to that, de-silting and repair of stormwater drains will be carried out to redirect the maximum quantum of runoff water without causing localized flooding. Similarly, efforts will be taken to increase green cover by plantation drives in public lands, roadside, parks, near banks of rivers/water bodies. For all of these activities, job-seekers will be identified and provided employment opportunities based on their skills. Specific activities to be carried out are as follows:
(1) Storm Water Drainage:
Solid refuse passing into drainage reduces runoff capacity as well as has environmental impacts downstream, increasing the frequency of flooding in cities.
Activities to be undertaken:
Pre-monsoon de-silting of drains, removal of silt and deposits in low-lying areas.
Installing steel grills/screen/mesh at the confluence/outfall points of the drainage channels to filter out solid waste.
Ensuring drains with covers without any gaps to avoid accidents.
(2) Rain Water Harvesting: There is a need for systematic rainwater harvesting to minimize runoff and recharge groundwater in cities.
Activities to be undertaken:
Construction of rainwater harvesting structures/percolation tanks in public premises, parks, playgrounds, and other locations as the ULBs may deem appropriate.
Development of new water bodies, public parks/playgrounds based on local needs and availability of vacant government lands either in the books of ULBs/Development/Planning Authorities or any other Government Department/Agency with due approval of District Collectors concerned without transferring/alienating the land. Water bodies, parks, and playgrounds would be designed as public spaces, where additional features like walking tracks, street furniture, and arrangements for lighting, drinking water, toilets, garbage bins, and adequate greenery would be planned. No machinery will be used for digging the new water bodies.
Manual clearing of water hyacinths in existing ponds.
(3) Increase in green cover and beautification:
Monsoons are conducive for increasing the green cover due to availability of plenty of water.
Activities to be undertaken:
Plantations to be done at medians, road dividers, parks, open spaces, near water bodies etc. Nurseries of the Forest Dept.& other Govt agencies may be leveraged for sourcing plants and seedlings.
(4) Sanitation Activities to be undertaken:
Clearance of Construction & Demolition (C &D) waste and processing through SHGs for recycling and reuse.
Construction of Public Urinals at high footfall zones.
(5) Community centers & Open Space development:
Creation of work space and space-based development are necessary for revitalizing neighborhoods and retaining the socio-cultural character of a city/town. It eventually leads to an inclusive, engaged and healthy community.
Activities to be undertaken:Construction of micro community centers or SHG (Self Help Group) work centers in every ward to provide built up space/open space for community & SHG activities. ULBs could plan for one such center in each ward. The micro community center will be maintained by SHGs.
Specifically in slum settlements, construction of micro community centers or SHG (Self Help Group) work centers and development of open space that will serve as children’s’ play area and also benefit the community as a whole.
Involve local artisans to beautify the city through wall paintings and murals. This will also generate employment opportunities for painter, artist living in communities.
Time Period:The program will be in operation for a period of six months. It will commence in April 2020 and continue up to 30th September 2020.
Budget Allocation: Total budgetary allocation for this program would be fl.00 crores which would be made available out of budget heads under UNNATI and JAGA (for works in slum settlements) missions. It is desirable to maintain an overall ratio of 70:30 between wage and material cost components at the ULB level taking all works under this initiative into consideration. Utilization certificates will be submitted to Department, verified by appropriate authorities.
The funds will be released as detailed below:
M.C.- Rs.10 Crore- Rs.10 Crore
CMC, RMC, SMC & BeMC- Rs.5 Crore each- Rs.20 Crore
Puri (M), Balasore (M), Baripada (M) & Bhadrak (M)-Rs.1.67 Crore each- Rs.6.68 Crore
All Municipalities (44 Municipalities except four AMRUT Cities)-Rs.94 Lath each- Rs.41.36 Crore
All NACs (61)- Rs.36 Lakhs each-Rs.21.96 Crore
Total (114) ULBs- Rs.100 Crore
Accordingly, fund will be transferred to the ULBs. Further, whenever it is observed that one ULB is unable to spend the money timely, the Department is competent to withdraw the allotted funds and place the same in favour of another ULB where expenditure has been incurred purposefully and scope is available for spending more funds.
Implementation guidelines:
List of projects shall be identified by ULBs ward-wise from the above categories/activities.
ULBs will carry out appropriate IEC measures to create awareness at the ULB level on the job-opportunities, enrollment procedures and benefits.
Community based organizations such as SHGs and their Area Level Federations, City Level Federations and Slum Dwellers Association(SDA) would be the engaged in implementing the work as implementation partners.
Work-Orders will be directly issued to Engineers without need for a tendering process. Engineers will therefore provide the required plans, estimates and technical supervision to all community level partners.
Additionally, Engineers will document all work-related procedures -ward level record of people engaged activity-wise and date-wise, before and after situations (with photographs and geo-location) for verification by appropriate authorities .
Material procurement will be done by ULBs, and implementing partners will not have any role in it.
Payment shall be transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer mode to beneficiary bank accounts on a weekly frequency. Details of Aadhar and bank account to be maintained at level of implementing partner for verification purpose.
All information, relating to work undertaken, number of beneficiaries and financials would be placed in public domain.
Technology based solutions including mobile app will be developed for geo-tagging the works, performance monitoring and for enhancing transparency and accountability in the implementation.
ULBs shall ensure that social distancing is maintained, ensure there are no gatherings, basic worksite facilities – availability of clean drinking water, support for child-care, use of masks as well as sanitizers and other required facilities may be factored into the process.
Separate book of account on expenditure of fund will be maintained by the concerned local bodies for this program.
The work will be executed under the supervision of concerned urban local bodies and inspected by the DUDA, concerned.
The accounts of the urban local bodies are subject to audit by Local Fund Audit Organization of Finance Department / internal audit of H & UD Department as well as inspection of officers of H&UD Department and Annual Technical Inspection of C & AG, India at their discretion.
The Utilisation certificate of the grant is to be submitted by the concerned urban local bodies in Form OGFR-7A after due signature of counter signing authority to H & UD Department for onward transmission to A.G. (A & E), Odisha, Bhubaneswar.
The H & UD Department will be competent to clarify doubts if any and ensure removal of bottleneck for implementation of the program and utilization of fund and relaxing any other conditionality.

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