New Delhi, Aug 9:

The Centre will “geo-tag” all assets created through works carried out under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) since 2006, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday.

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“This has been decided as per the directives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, during a recent review meeting of MGNREGA, underlined the need for online recording and monitoring of assets to check leakages and for effective mapping of resources,” Tomar told reporters here.

“Geo-tagging” is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to a medium such as a website. In the context of MGNREGS, geo-tagging will help users find a wide variety of location-specific information about an asset.

The Department of Space will help upload online data about all works and assets related to natural resource management, water harvesting, drought proofing, sanitation, agriculture, check dams and irrigation channels, he said.

To ensure smooth implementation of “Geo-MGNREGA,” the government will train 2.62 lakh functionaries in 628 districts across the country in six stages, Tomar said.

Gea-tagging will enhance transparency, ease identification and monitoring, and help perform additional developmental works on existing assets like creating watershed and drought-proofing irrigation facilities, the minister said.

“The moot point is to keep track of MGNREGA assets and to promote transparency. Once we know where the assets are and what and where are the gaps, it will be easier to address them,” Tomar said.

The pilot projects started on August 1 in 28 Gram Panchayats, he said.

The local district officials and Block Development Officers (BDOs) have been made main coordinators for geo-tagging of images so that these are not misused, an official said.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 was started to be implemented in February 2006. It’s a social security measure that aims to guarantee the right to work to the needy in rural areas.

The law guarantees at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. (IANS)