Bhubaneswar: The Urban Wage Employment Initiative was introduced on 18 April 2020 amid COVID pandemic to provide critical support to the vulnerable sections of the urban poor and migrant workers whose livelihood was adversely affected by COVID.
UWEI has impacted the lives of the marginalised groups across all the 114 Urban Local Bodies of the state and provided them with livelihood opportunities when they needed it the most. The Scheme is unique with its bottom-uppeople centric approach. It attempts to achieve convergence of a number of critical areas of urban development i.e., sustainable livelihood to the poor, vulnerable and marginalised people living in the urban centres, protection of environment, creation of climate resilient community assets, building trust-based partnership with community-based organisations, thereby strengthening the fourth tier of governance and achieving community centric and community led development.
It was decided by Government that around 18000 Rain Water Harvesting Structures will be constructed under the Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI) in each ward of all 114 ULBs of Odisha with Mission Shakti Groups engaged as Implementing Partners. The initiative to be taken up in a mission mode. All the 114 ULBs were directed to immediately identify the open spaces like parks, playgrounds etc. where the Rain Water Harvesting Structures shall be constructed in the first phase.
It was decided to have RWHS in all the 2035 Wards across 114 ULBs of the State and to have 5 RWHS/ Ward in NAC ,10 RWHS/ Ward in Municipality and20 RWHS/ Ward in Municipal Corporations .They were directed to immediately ensure issuance of work orders to Mission Shakti Group, sensitise them and start execution of work .Till now13060 sites selected , 12996 plan & estimate amounting rupees 70 crore prepared , 11660 work orders issued and 6676 MSG& SDA groups engaged. 10152 works started and 4196 RWHSs completed. Around 80% of the ongoing RWHS works are nearing completion. Another5000 RWHS are likely to be added to the target fixed.
A State Level Task Force headed by Principal Secretary H&UDD and City Level Core Group headed by Commissioner/EO have been constituted to oversee execution of rainwater harvesting structures before the onset of monsoons. A capacity building programme was organised by the Department to train Engineers from all the ULBs, Development Authorities and Planning Authorities on low cost technological models. Senior officers of H&UD Department sensitised the functionaries on the road map and discussed the step by step SOP on how the targets would be achieved within the stipulated timeline.
The Principal Secretary G Mathi Vathanan , while taking stock of the progress emphasised on sustainable water management is the focus of the Department and the most important method of doing it will be commissioning of various RWHS. This will be helpful in reducing the runoff and flashfloods apart from ensuring in-situ water conservation and ground water recharge. This will help in stabilising the hydrological balance and ensure climate resilience of urban areas and directed to achieve the target in due time .