Staff Reporter

Panchyat Raj Joint Action Committee to launch agitation

Agitation in a phased manner from Tuesday: JAC convenerDemands fixing of sitting fee for Ward membersSays rural development agencies running a parallel government in villages

Rajahmundry: The Panchyat Raj Joint Action Committee is going to take up `Chalo Hyderabad' with 15 prime demands on February 3. About 26 associations, including 21,000 local body representatives from Zilla Parishad, were going to represent their demands to the Government by taking up the agitation in a phased manner from Tuesday. The first constituency-level JAC meeting in East Godavari district will be held in Anaparti on Tuesday and all JACs from other constituencies would also meet on the same day.

Speaking to The Hindu , the State president of AP Sarpanches Association and convenor of JAC Padala Rama Reddy said that their demands include single cheque power to sarpanches till the end of their term, instead of joint cheque power with Panchayat Officer or any other official concerned.

"The issue is not about cheque power, but our self respect," Mr. Reddy said. He asked the State Government to implement the same reservation pattern in second term of the sarpanches and enhance the honorarium from Rs.1,500 to Rs. 5,000 for ZPTC and MPPs and Rs. 600 to Rs. 3,000 for sarpanches.

He also demanded the fixing of sitting fee for Ward members and also honorarium to MPTCs.

Another demand was reorganisation of the administrative pattern in the Panchyat Raj, which means to give conferred IAS to Panchat officials on a par with Revenue officials, on the lines of West Bengal (in 1:20 ratio).

Mr. Rama Reddy also brought to the notice of the Government, how the Velugu and other rural development agencies were running a parallel government in villages.

He wanted all the agencies brought under one umbrella and under Panchayat Raj supervision.