|February 28, 2014 at 10:33 am #5207|
Mindful of growing resentment among residents as Harvalem panchayat has been left in the hands of an administrator and a part-time secretary since the past one year, Sanquelim MLA Dr Pramod Sawant is confident that elections to Harvalem panchayat will be conducted after the parliamentary elections.
With the Harvalem panchayat completing one year on Tuesday after it was notified by the State government as the 190th panchayat of the State, residents are unhappy that the panchayat has been deprived of its elected representatives, facilities and funds.
“Since Harvalem panchayat is yet to be given any special code by the DOP, the panchayat has been deprived of the Central funds under NEGRA. The villagers have applied for this scheme, but they have not been given the cards and the panchayat has not got any central fund,” said Sagar Parwar of Harvalem.
Other residents complained that they had passed several resolutions during the previous gram sabhas, but lamented that not a single one had been implemented since the last one year.
“At present, the panchayat office is functioning from a room on the first floor of a house, which has been rented for Rs 27,000 per year. The health minister, who is also the panchayat minister, could have allotted the vacant rooms of the Health Cottage to house the panchayat, thereby saving public funds.”
“Land for the new building has already been donated by the people, but the government is yet to come up with the project,” Parwar added.
Some residents complained that they had been frequently demanding elections to their panchayat, but were only given assurances.
“The panchayat minister had assured us during a meeting that panchayat elections would be held in December 2013, but nothing has happened so far. We also repeatedly put forth this request before our MLA, but he too only gave us assurances,” said Vishnu Malik.
Said another villager, Dasharath Malik: “We need our representatives in the panchayat, as our panchayat secretary is also handling Kudnem panchayat and visits Harvalem panchayat only twice a week. For all other panchayat work, we have to go to the administrator at Bicholim.”
When contacted, local MLA Dr Pramod Sawant said he was aware of the problems faced by residents of Harvalem and added that panchayat elections had been delayed because of some formalities.
“Changing the status of Harvalem panchayat was undertaken by our government and we were successful in this exercise. We want to set up a panchayat office, staff and complete formalities to takeover the land for the panchayat building,” said Dr Sawant.
“We wish to have the elections immediately after the parliamentary elections,” Dr Sawant. “The government has sanctioned Rs 1 crore to every panchayat and development work of the Harvalem panchayat will be carried out with these funds.”
Source/Reference: Herald, “Harvalem VP polls after parliamentary elections: Sawant“