178 GPs bereft of own buildings in Khammam district

A private house is Pallegudem gram panchayat office in Khammam district.

A private house is Pallegudem gram panchayat office in Khammam district.  

168 new GPs are functioning from rented buildings: District Panchayat Officer

Even as the State government has assigned multifarious village development tasks to the gram panchayats (GPs), the basic units of the rural local self-government, many GPs continue to grapple with lack of own buildings and other infrastructure deficiencies across the district.

Of the total 584 gram panchayats in the district, as many as 178 GPs don’t have own buildings.

Though around 406 GPs have own buildings, nearly 81 of them are in a dilapidated condition and about 55 of them are in need of repairs, sources said. The new GPs numbering around 168, those came into existence in 2018, are functioning from rented premises and temporary government buildings.

Most of these issues, including the felt needs of the revenue villages, had come into spotlight during the 30-day special action plan implemented by the State government for comprehensive development of villages in September this year.

As part of the special drive, the government has laid a renewed focus on improving basic facilities in all the revenue villages mainly on construction of dumping yards and graveyards in each GP, apart from proper maintenance of saplings planted as part of the Haritha Haram, afforestation drive.

With manifold tasks at hand, the GPs, considered the basic units of the decentralised democratic governance, are facing a tough time to accomplish the stipulated tasks without requisite infrastructure facilities, particularly own buildings and adequate funds, sources added.

The new GPs are facing a piquant situation due to lack of own buildings, meagre revenue and grossly inadequate funds, rued Jayarao, sarpanch, Kostala GP, Wyra mandal. Our GP has been functioning from the old school building premises ever since it came into being in the middle of 2018, he pointed out, deploring that lack of own building and requisite furniture stood as a stumbling block in holding meetings with the ward members and other elected representatives on matters of village development.

“We are struggling to manage the monthly recurring expenditure towards payment of electricity bills and other essential expenses with the paltry allocation of funds,”' he lamented.

In addition to the existing tasks of maintaining drinking water supply, street lights, sanitation and so on, the GPs were recently assigned new responsibilities of nurturing saplings, construction of dumping yards among others, pointed out another sarpanch of Khammam division, who did not wish to be identified.

To enable the GPs perform these multiple tasks effectively, the bare minimum infrastructure facilities must be created in the GPs and funding should be increased accordingly, he insisted.

When contacted, the District Panchayat Officer Srinivas Reddy said as many as 406 GPs have own buildings spread across 20 mandals of the district. Work is in progress to carry out repairs on 10 GP buildings, he said, adding that around 168 new GPs were functioning from rented buildings.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:25:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/178-gps-bereft-of-own-buildings-in-khammam-district/article30324154.ece

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