Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has called for ‘out of box’ thinking for comprehensive development of villages and a three-month action plan to achieve this goal. To start with, he said the first month should focus on cleaning up of all villages. The ‘clean village movement’ should be launched on August 15, Independence Day, the Chief Minister said.
Chandrasehkhar Rao’s call came at a meeting where he reviewed the functioning of the Panchayat Raj Department at Pragati Bhavan on Thursday in the backdrop of the new Panchayat Raj Act coming into force in the State.
The Chief Minister said there was need to increase the salaries and allowances of Panchayat Raj staff in general and sanitation staff in particular. As part of the month-long clean-up villages programme, focus should be on removal of debris, taking steps to prevent and end water logging on streets, removal of weeds, developing nurseries for growing plants, and planting of trees under Haritha Haram programme. “Villagers should be encouraged to voluntarily take part in all these activities,” the Chief Minister said, adding that officials should also make full use of MGNREGA funds for these purposes.
With specific reference to village panchayats, the Chief Minister said: “It is unfortunate that PR institutions are not functioning on expected lines and hence require a total overhaul. Panchayati Raj is in fact not a department but a movement. Both Panchayat Raj and cooperative movements were failures under the erstwhile governments. People are not aware of the strength they derive if they work together. The original name of Panchayat Raj was Community Development which was aimed at solving village level issues and uniting the people. That aim has now disappeared with departmentalisation and compartmentalisation and politics taking over the movements.”
The Chief Minister said the action plan should ensure a perceptible change in the villages in the next three months with month-wise targets set for each village. Villages should look clean by the end of the first month, he reiterated along with putting an end to waterlogging in the villages.
He called on special officers and panchayat secretaries to motivate villagers to participate in ‘shramadan’ once a week with the officials undertaking periodic padayatras in the village along with village elders. The nurseries to be set up in each village should collect the indents for plants from each house and ensure the saplings are supplied to the households, he added.
Stress on cleanliness
As part of tree planting activities, mosquito repellent plants such as Tulasi (basil) should be planted extensively in all the villages and school students should be encouraged to join Haritha Haram and plant saplings. Officials should collect information and collate data on roads, drains, their length, the requirement or conditions of crematoria, dhobi ghats, disinfection of the drains, assess the amount of garbage generated and need for dump yards, and encourage registration of marriages.
The people must be educated on not wasting Mission Bhagiratha or other any other water that is made available to them, the Chief Minister stressed.
The meeting was attended among others by Panchayat Raj Minister Jupally Krishna Rao, Chief Secretary SK Joshi, CMO Principal Secretaries S Narsing Rao and Santi Kumari, CMO Secretary Smita Sabharwal, Special Secretary Bhoopal Reddy, PCCF PK Jha, OSD CMO Priyanka Varghese, Commissioner PR Neethu Prasad and Mining Corporation Chairman Seri Subhash Reddy.