The Odisha government Saturday announced a Rs 100-crore Urban Wage Employment Initiative which, it claims, will generate employment for the urban poor in 114 urban local bodies.

The initiative, announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s office, is aimed at around 4.5 lakh families and will run from April to September.

A senior bureaucrat said that the initiative will involve “labour-intensive work such as maintenance and upgradation of toilets and water infrastructure” in ULBs, while maintaining social distancing. He also added that the initiative will try to support local artisans through projects such as wall painting and murals in urban areas.

Law Minister Pratap Jena told reporters: “Rural areas have employment and development projects, such as MGNREGS, but urban areas do not. This project will try to address this gap”.

Last month, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced a Rs 2,200-crore package, under which all the beneficiaries of the food security act would receive three months ration in advance.

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