Collector assures priority for schemes to augment drinking water sources
The Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihoods Mission (TNSRLM), a national poverty eradication programme being implemented under the name of Aajeevika with 75 per cent Central funds and 25 per cent State funds, was launched in four more panchayat unions - Arcot, Walajapet, Sholinghur and K.V. Kuppam - in Vellore district on Wednesday, under the second phase of the scheme.
Resolutions marking the launching of the scheme were passed in the Grama Sabhas held in the village panchayats in all the four panchayat unions on Wednesday, coinciding with May Day.
Speaking at a Special Grama Sabha held at the Tajpura village panchayat in Arcot Panchayat Union, one of the unions where the scheme was launched on Wednesday, G.K. Lokeshwari, Project Director, Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women, Vellore Project Implementation Unit, said that in the first phase, the TNSRLM was launched and implemented in 254 village panchayats in six panchayat unions in the district last year. Under this scheme, various works were implemented based on the needs of the people, unlike other schemes which involved allocation and redistribution of funds from a higher body to a lower body through a top-down approach.
In TNSRLM, schemes formulated by the beneficiaries at the grassroots level would be recommended to the State Government through the district administration, and funds obtained for them.
P. Sankar, Collector of Vellore, who presided over the Special Grama Sabha meeting, said that the district administration would prepare a priority list of schemes based on the needs of the people and implement them on a speedy basis. He assured the people that importance would be given this year for implementation of schemes to augment the drinking water sources of the villages in view of the acute water scarcity. Village panchayats which keep the villages clean would get an incentive fund of Rs. 5 lakh each, he said.
The Collector who received petitions from the public promised to act on their petitions within 15 days.
N. Srinivasan, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, requested the residents to give correct information to the field workers who visit their houses for a baseline survey to elicit information about the type of toilets used by them. If they did not have hygienic toilets, the government would provide them a total subsidy of Rs. 5,700 (comprising a Central grant of Rs. 3,200 and State grant of Rs. 2500) to construct a hygienic toilet, as against Rs. 3,200 which was given earlier.
In addition to this, each beneficiary would get Rs. 4,500 by way of wages if he or she contributes the labour for constructing the toilet under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). On the whole, a beneficiary would get Rs. 10,200 for constructing a hygienic toilet. He appealed to the residents not just to construct hygienic toilets but to use them.
The Project Director said that the government has sanctioned Rs. 36 lakh for laying a road linking Arcot-Arni Road and Arcot-Kannamangalam Road. Residents of the village complained that they did not have adequate drinking water facilities in the hamlets of Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Sathya Nagar, Periyar Nagar and Kamaraj Nagar. K. Sampath, president of the Tajpura village panchayat said that a separate overhead tank would be constructed in Sathya Nagar.
Officials mum on wages
Several women complained that they were given only a wage of Rs. 60 per day as against the Rs. 80 which they were eligible under the MGNREGS. None of the officials replied to this complaint.
V.K.R. Srinivasan, Arcot MLA, asked the residents to air their grievances about basic facilities and not to complain about payment of wages under MGNREGS. He said the government would provide all basic facilities to them if they cooperated with it.
The government would provide drinking water and road facilities if they had constructed their houses in approved layouts. It would not be able to do so if the houses were built in unapproved layouts, he said.
M. Kutty, chairman of Arcot Panchayat Union, S. Anbazhagan, vice-chairman of Vellore District Panchayat and Priya Ramachandran, District Panchayat Ward Member participated.