Two years on, Salcete panchayats yet to fully utilise golden jubilee funds

HomeForumsBlock/Taluka specific Panchayat RajSalceteTwo years on, Salcete panchayats yet to fully utilise golden jubilee funds

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January 28, 2014 at 11:36 am #5093

Despite completing two years in December 2013, several village panchayats in Salcete are yet to utilise the one-time grant of Rs 10 lakh given by the earlier Digambar Kamat-led government to each panchayat for undertaking signature projects in the villages, much to the unhappiness of the art and culture department, which had formulated a scheme visualising the projects. The funds were given in commemoration of the golden jubilee of Goa’s Liberation.  

The central government had sanctioned Rs 200 crore to Goa for commemorating the state’s golden jubilee of Liberation so that revenue-generating projects could be undertaken in the villages.

Similarly, the Margao municipal council also failed to utilise such funds. Rs two crore given by the government to the civic body still lies in the coffers of the MMC due to lack of a collective decision to utilise the funds. 

The MMC had passed a resolution to distribute the funds to the councillors so that projects could be taken up as per the requirements of the respective wards. However, due to differences in opinion, the move fizzled out.

According to the Salcete Block Development Office (BDO), of the total 30 panchayats, only six panchayats – Camorlim, Curtorim, Sao Jose de Areal, Ambelim, Paroda and Davorlim-Dicarpale have completed projects under the scheme while a few of the projects are at the billing stage.

While attempts are being made by some panchayats to utilise the funds, at least in part by taking up suitable proposals in accordance with modifications made by the art and culture department to the scheme so that the money can be utilised for small non-revenue generating projects, seven panchayats have till date not forwarded any proposals for consideration under the scheme.

Salcete BDO Manuel Barretto said that the village panchayats of Nuvem, Chinchinim, Benaulim, Cavelossim, Carmona and Assolna are yet to forward their proposed projects. Interestingly, the village panchayat of Curtorim was the first panchayat to complete the proposed project under the scheme in Salcete.

Sources said that there were several reasons for the delay in preparation of proposals and for non-utilisation of the funds and these include differences in opinion among the elected panchas and sarpanch, change of guard due to general panchayat election thereby leading to the scrapping of earlier proposals, non-availability of land, no additional money with the panchayats to support the projects, political interference and vested interests. 

“I don’t understand why only Salcete taluka panchayats cannot prepare proposals under the scheme. It appears that the panchayats are not serious or they do not want these funds to be utilised for the betterment of the villages,” said director of Panchayats Narayan Sawant. He said that the art and culture department had in a communiqué to his office urged the panchayats to speed up with the proposals before March-end and the same has been informed to the panchayats through the BDOs.  

Former chief minister Digambar Kamat said, “My government had formulated the scheme to commemorate the golden jubilee of Liberation through the art and culture department. Simultaneously, we had focussed on revenue generation through the scheme. It is sad that several panchayats and municipalities could not utilise the funds.”  

According to information from the BDO office, village panchayats of Velim and Telaulim had proposed the extension of the existing panchayat ghar, while the Aquem Baixo panchayat wanted renovation of panchayat building to be taken up. Navelim proposed furnishing of the first floor of the panchayat building, Orlim proposed repairs and maintenance of panchayat hall, Chandor wanted renovation of panchayat ghar and community hall, Camorlim proposed renovation of panchayat hall, Guirdolim proposed construction of garden in open space, Curtorim planned renovation and beautification of garden and Loutolim proposed construction of changing room at panchayat ghar. 

The village panchayat of Paroda planned for construction of community hall at Zoriwaddo, Sao Jose de Areal proposed construction of pathways with pavers and external drainages, while Rachol wanted beautification of jetty (dhoko) at Raitura. Rumdamol Davorlim proposed development of open space in the village, Ambelim planned construction of fish market, Dramapur Sirlim wanted renovation of existing panchayat ghar, Varca proposed construction of first floor of panchayat ghar, Colva wanted retaining wall for garbage site, while Macazana proposed construction of roof slab and toilet.

Sarzora village panchayat proposed construction of bus stop and children’s park while Seraulim panchayat planned construction of joggers’ park. Raia proposed beautification of open space around the panchayat hall, Betalbatim proposed construction of first floor of the panchayat ghar and Davorlim-Dicarpale proposed reconstruction of the panchayat ghar and other works. Interestingly, most of these works are in the initial stages.

Source/Reference: Navhind Times, “Two years on, Salcete panchayats yet to fully utilise golden jubilee funds

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