Correspondent

Outgoing Zilla Parishad chairman for planning at the micro level

Kakinada: Decentralisation of powers and budgetary allocations on the lines of Karnataka and Kerala would alone strengthen the local bodies and ensures real rural development, said Dunna Janardhana Rao, outgoing Chairman of the East Godavari Zilla Parishad, at a press conference here on Friday.

He admitted that successive governments, irrespective of party affiliations, had preferred centralisation and diversion of funds and thereby had not allowed effective functioning of local bodies.

He felt that planning should be done at the micro level, involving village panchayats, instead of making it a bureaucratic exercise at the top level, so that real development could be achieved.

Balanced development

Appreciating the pattern adopted by both Karnataka and Kerala, he said except the police all departments related to rural development were brought under the purview of local bodies there making them effective instruments of rural development.

Despite financial constraints, he claimed, that during his five-year tenure, he could ensure balanced development of all regions in the district, mobilisation of resources locally, especially on sand auctions.

Initially the revenue on sand auctions, he said was only Rs. 2 crore per annum but year after year, it has improved and finally reached Rs. 8.5 crore now.

During his tenure, he said over Rs. 130 crore was spent on various developmental works.

Welfare activity

As part of the welfare activity, he said, Rs. 10 lakh was given to veterinary department for the supply of HS vaccine and Rs. 13.05 lakh was contributed to the government general hospital for acquiring endoscopy equipment.