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Odisha’s urban wage employment scheme gets global recognition

MUKTA scheme is lauded for the swift response of Odisha in introducing a new scheme to meet the emergent situation

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

The Odisha Government’s flagship Mukhyamantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan (MUKTA) urban wage employment scheme has been selected as one of the winners of the 2021-2022 World Resources Institute (WRI), Ross Centre Prize for Cities.

The winners were announced at the Prize for Cities event held at the Ford Foundation Centre for Social Justice in New York City on 1 February. The award, administered by an International Jury, selected ‘MUKTA’ as a winner through a competitive process from amongst 260 applications from 155 cities in 65 countries, said a senior official of the Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) Department.

The Prize for Cities is WRI’s Urban Transformation Award recognizes the leaders creating more sustainable and inclusive cities worldwide. The award acknowledged MUKTA’s innovative approach to responding to uncertainty, disruption and crisis by creating large-scale jobs for the urban poor, informal and migrant laborers by engaging them in development works as a mechanism for cities to live and thrive in turbulent times, the official added.

Till date, 7 lakh urban poor and migrant workers across Odisha’s 114 cities have been engaged in 22,500 community-level development works worth Rs 208 crore, which includes paved roads, drains, rainwater harvesting, community centres, plantation, water bodies rejuvenation and public space development. Besides, 5,368 Mission Shakti Groups and 438 slum dwellers associations have also been engaged as implementation partners under the ambitious Scheme of Odisha Government.

MUKTA scheme is lauded for the swift response of Odisha in introducing a new scheme to meet the emergent situations and its courage for entrusting the execution responsibilities to the Mission Shakti Groups and Slum Dwellers Association instead of engaging contractors. The scheme also helps in the creation of community-level civic facilities in an equitable manner, said the officials.

The Centre has also lauded the Odisha Government’s efforts and recommended the Odisha model of MUKTA to other States for replication. Taking a cue from it, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have either announced or rolled out their urban wage employment schemes on the lines of Odisha’s MUKTA for the creation of employment opportunities for the urban poor, they added.