‘Department may surpass targets set in 15-point development programme’
Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) H.K. Patil on Saturday said the department had decided to come out with district-level development plans so as to have comprehensive development plans (CDP) for every village.
At a consultative meeting of zilla panchayat (ZP) chief executive officers and presidents here, Mr. Patil said hitherto CDPs were not prepared on the lines of those for cities. If CDPs were prepared, every village could be developed properly. The concept paper was awaiting government approval, the Minister said.
At the same time, the department had decided to go for concurrent social audit of various projects instead of post-audit. This year such an audit would be undertaken before March-end, Mr. Patil said.
The department was also moving towards having a rural development university and a committee under the former Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath was finalising its composition, the Minister said at the meeting. Grama Charitre Kosha, containing the history, culture and development history of every village, would be prepared by the Karnataka Folklore University and the department would spend Rs. 10 crore for this purpose.
Mr. Patil said the department, through panchayats, was not only able to reach targets set in the 15-point development programme for 2013–14, but also showing signs of surpassing them.
The Koppal Zilla Panchayat, for example, Mr. Patil said had already built 89,000 toilets against the self-set target of 1 lakh toilets and was confident of achieving the target by March 15.
Normally, the target for a zilla panchayat would have been about 35,000 toilets, but Koppal ZP authorities, along with members of taluk and gram panchayats, did a street campaign to persuade village residents to get individual toilets constructed, he said.
As 2.92 lakh individual toilets had been constructed across the State against the target of 6.81 lakh, the department had revised the target for 2013–14 to 8 lakh.
Work on rejuvenating 1,800 tanks was nearing completion, he said, and added that 2,684 tanks in the State would be rejuvenated by March.
He said gram panchayats were able to find 7,839 locations for developing playgrounds against the target of 10,000 for a year. By January 12, Vivekananda Jayanti, locations for the remaining 2,161 playgrounds would be finalised.
‘Improve quality of life’
Quoting the Comptroller and Auditor-General report which said 67 per cent BPL families in rural areas had to cough up Rs. 65 bribe in 2008–09, Mr. Patil asked the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department officials to work towards improving the quality of life. No efforts were made hitherto to improve the quality of life, he regretted.
Mr. Patil said the targets were not the maximum limit, but minimum. There was no dearth for funds to execute any project, he said and urged panchayat functionaries to work hard towards achieving the set goals.
RDPR Principal Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar was present.