|September 4, 2017 at 10:38 am #8044|
Village panchayats along the coastal belt of the Salcete taluka held special gram sabhas on Sunday and constituted committees to prepare panchayat development plans for their villages.
Following an order by the panchayats directorate last month, several village panchayats which had not formed the committees, were directed to do so by September 3. These included the village panchayats of Varca, Orlim, Carmona and Betalbatim.
The Varca panchayat unanimously chose the members of the three committees on production, social justice and amenities.
The special gram sabha also created a platform for villagers to voice their views on formation and functioning of the committees.
One villager in Varca raised questions about the training programmes that had been organised for committee members in the past.
“In the past, department officials held training camps for us on how to increase crop yields. But it hasn’t changed much in the village,” he said pointing to the need for the committees to take their role more seriously.
Sarpanch Roland Fernandes assured the villagers that the plan would work.
In Orlim, the committees were constituted with an attendance of over 40 locals. But many villagers had doubts about success of the committees, as there has been no fulltime panchayat secretary.
“We have been writing letters after letters and taking resolutions after resolutions to make sure that we have a fulltime secretary for our panchayat, but in vain. We are not sure how successful these committees will be if we don’t have a fulltime secretary,” Orlim sarpanch Tamira D’Silva said.
As per the guidelines issued by the directorate of panchayats, the focus of the gram panchayat plan will be on improvement in the quality of basic services such as healthcare, drinking water and sanitation.
These committees will look to improve upon the three parameters – production, social justice and amenities.
The related legislation allows the sarpanch to be chairman of each committee while members include deputy sarpanch, elected and co-opted members of the panchayat, members of the standing committee, and eminent persons from the gram panchayat.
The panchayat secretary is the member secretary of the committees.
The committees will take up the task of drawing up a plan based on current gaps in the village planning process, and the estimates will also be made.
Priorities will be given to clean drains, tanks, wells, springs, roads and other public places. The other priorities include tackling garbage menace and development of uncultivable agricultural lands.
Public health and welfare programmes will be the other focus areas.
Maintenance of public toilets, parks, gardens, crematoriums and playgrounds will also be under the focus.
Source/Reference: Navhind Times, “Coastal Salcete VPs form panels to draw up development plans“