Current Affairs

Gram Sabha

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The new Sarpanch of Cavorim Chandor Village Stephen Dias was compelled to assure the Gram Sabha to improve the functioning of the panchayat to increase its revenue by increasing receipts and also constituted the Vigilance and Supervisory Committees to ensure that all works in the village are done as per the tenders.

Quoting the Auditor’s report for 2009-2010 it was pointed out that the receipts have been declining for the last three years and stood at a meagre 57 per cent. The Sarpanch promised to increase it to 90 per cent and the Gram Sabha asked the panchayat to read out the names of the defaulters at the next Gram Sabha.
The Gram Sabha also directed the panchayat to invest part of the over Rs 14 lakhs in savings account in Fixed Deposit so that the revenue can be increased. Similarly, the rent charged to the Post Office and Telecom Department was asked to be revised as the same has not been done for years.
The panchayat body was severely castigated for not applying its mind while preparing the budget as it was pointed out that figures under all the heads for income and expenditure were mere repetitions of those given for the previous year.
Faced with an angry reaction when the panchayat claimed to have no knowledge absolutely of works undertaken by the PWD or other agency, the panchayat was forced to constitute the Supervisory and Vigilance committees which were not constituted till date.
The Gram Sabha also resolved that all the sub-committees of the panchayat should meet twice a year as it was observed that though the Standing committees were constituted, they never met.
The panchayat was also taken to task for not following with the Entertainment Society of Goa about the payment due to it for shooting done in the village. As the crew does not clear the mess and the garbage remains strewn around, it was resolved to collect a security deposit of Rs. 5,000 from the crew to be refunded if they clean the shooting venue before leaving.
There were heated discussion over the panchayat’s claim that it was not aware of works undertaken in the village by the PWD or any other agency. This claim was refuted by villagers who claimed to have seen the local panchas accompanying engineers to the site. Given this attitude of the panchayat of washing its hands off the works, the villagers said that henceforth they would stop the work unless the panchayat was informed about it.
The issue of contractors not completing the work but collecting all the money was taken up quite seriously particularly since the panchayat does not issue completion certificates.
The Rural Development Agency came in for criticism as it was observed that though it was announced that people working in their own fields would be paid under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the same was not implemented by the department as no circular or guideline was issued to the panchayat.
The programme officer of NREG who was present for the gram Sabha was asked to check what the department proposes to do with those who register under the scheme but do not report for work as in the village it was observed that 19 people refuse to report for work.
The Gram Sabha began with a motion congratulating the new Sarpanch and it was hoped that he would bring about changes in the functioning of the panchayat.

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