Shimla – In a strategic move to prioritize rural development, the government has allocated a sum of Rs. 2.10 crore per constituency under the MLA Local Area Development Fund (MLALAD) Scheme.

The MLALAD Scheme, originally designed to fortify the decentralized development process, has emerged as a pivotal instrument for channelling resources directly to the grassroots level. With the increased allocation of Rs. 2.10 crore per constituency for the financial year 2023-24, the total budget provision stands at an impressive Rs. 144.01 crore for the current fiscal year.

Acknowledging the challenges posed by heavy rains this year, the government has not only boosted the financial allocation but has also made essential amendments to the MLALAD Scheme guidelines. The scheme now encompasses a broader spectrum of initiatives, including repairing retaining walls and breast walls and channelling rivulets and seasonal nullahas. This comprehensive approach aims to address the aftermath of natural disasters and fortify vulnerable regions.

Comparing the year-wise data, the government’s commitment to rural development becomes evident. The allocation under the MLALAD Scheme has witnessed a progressive rise, with the present government infusing an additional Rs. 41 crore this year. This financial injection is poised to stimulate a diverse range of development projects, including constructing classrooms, healthcare facilities, link roads, and installing hand pumps.

Beyond the traditional scope, the MLALAD Scheme now includes initiatives such as electrification of remote houses, repair of school buildings, construction of sports grounds, and the provision of amenities like gyms in Panchayats and urban local bodies. The scheme’s versatility is further underscored by its provisions for the construction and maintenance of bus stands, community Wi-Fi installation, and even commemorating martyrs through the construction of entry gates.