‘It is wrong to nurse a notion that the process will lead to corrupt practices’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Saturday that the core aim of decentralisation of power was to ensure participation of people of all sections of society in the democratic process and to eradicate corruption. He called upon officials and elected representatives to reach the benefits of government programmes to everyone while ensuring transparency.

He was speaking after launching seven rural development programmes and unveiling 15 handbooks aimed at apprising elected representatives in the three-tier panchayat raj system of various rural development programmes, and through them to the people.

Live streaming

The programme was streamed live to 176 taluk centres in the State from the SAT-COM studio of the Abdul Nazir Sab State Institute of Rural Development here.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said it was wrong to nurse a notion that decentralisation would lead to corrupt practices. Referring to the gram sabha meetings for which amendments were being brought in, he clarified that it was not aimed at curbing the powers of elected representatives as was being made out to be. People participating in the gram sabha meetings would know as to how much money had come to the gram panchayat, its expenditure, and progress of the works, he said.

The programmes

The seven programmes that were launched are: Raithara Kana, under which threshing yards will be provided to farmers in villages; Kuri-Danada Doddi, under which sheds will be constructed for sheep and cattle; Smashana Abhivridhi, under which graveyards will be developed; Namma Hola Namma Daari, under which roads will be developed to transport farm produces; Aatada Maidana, development of playgrounds in every village in a phased manner; Raitara Bhoo-Abhivrudhi, under which farmers could avail themselves of assistance to develop farmlands; and Rajiv Gandhi Chaitanya Yojane, under which unemployed youth in rural areas will have access to training to become self-employed or take up jobs.

Speaking on each aspect of the seven programmes, Mr. Siddaramaiah said each village in the 5,628 gram panchayats in the State would get two playgrounds. Every village would be covered gradually by keeping a target of developing 10,000 playgrounds every year. Under the Rajiv Gandhi Chaitanya Yojane, about 60 unemployed youth would be selected from every gram panchayat to receive training, Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

Earlier, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) H.K. Patil said the Aatada Maidana programme would be formally launched by Mr. Siddaramaiah on November 14. It would help revive the vanishing rural sports and games traditions, he said. The aim of his Ministry was to make every village free of garbage, disputes, liquor and debts, Mr. Patil said.

Priority

Clean drinking water would get priority in every village as the Chief Minister recently sanctioned 1,000 drinking water projects, he said. Mr. Siddaramaiah had already requested Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh to release the second instalment of funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to the State, he said. The objective of the Rajiv Gandhi Chaitanya Yojane was to bring back the youth from urban centres to villages, he added.

Principal Secretary of the Department of RDPR T.M. Vijayabhaskar, Director-General of Administrative Training Institute Amita Prasad, and RDPR Commissioner Munish Moudgil were present.

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