Special Correspondent

On December 12, to seek devolution of powers to civic bodies

Puducherry: The Convener of the federation of village panchayat presidents, K. Nagamuthu and its deputy convener G.A. Jagannathan announced at a press conference here on Wednesday that a 12-hour bandh would be observed from 6 a.m. on December 12 in Puducherry and Karaikal districts to urge the administration to bring in a Government Order for devolution of powers to the civic bodies. They said that for last five months, since the civic bodies were formed, the government was keeping quiet without implementing the directives of the Constitution for devolution of financial and administrative powers to the local bodies.

Even after constitution of elected bodies, only officials were designing the schemes and implementing them. The Eleventh Schedule attached to Article 243 (G) of Constitution stipulated the number of subjects that should be handled by panchayats. Several representations were made to the Centre and the State Government. Nothing had come to avail so far.

If the State Government declined to confer powers on the elected bodies, it was only violating the Constitutional provisions. Mr. Jagannathan said that petitions were sent to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Opposition Leader seeking their intervention.