Chennai

“Awareness plays a key role’

A Gram Sabha meeting, held four times in a year, is an opportunity for people and officials to discuss about local governance and its improvement, and development need plans for the village. But, the residents feel that the meets are just an eye wash. The residents say an awareness has to be created among the members of the public about the meetings and authorities concerned should participate in the meets without fail to be successful.

The meetings are held on January 26 Republic Day, May 1 Labourers Day, August 15 Independence Day, and October 2 Gandhi Jayanthi.

Residents of Medavakkam, on conditions of anonymity, say, there is no proper announcement regarding the meetings.

Secondly, the meets are chaired by the local ruling party cadres, who call the shots at these meetings and discuss their problems and of their near and dear ones. The officials at the meet have no other option but to remain a mute spectator and take steps to solve their issues.

For years, we have been raising up the issue of holding local body elections and merging Medavakkam Village Panchayat with Greater Chennai Corporation as the area (Medavakkam) is adjacent to Pallikaranai, which falls under the jurisdictional limits of Greater Chennai Corporation. But, till date, no action has been taken yet. The meets are just an eye wash without the participation of government officials.

Announcements on time

Residents of Varadharajapuram say announcements should be made in advance regarding the meets. As the announcements are made at the last minute, there is no much participation from the members of the public.

Though, the meets are chaired by the government officials, no action is taken regarding the petitions submitted at the meets. It is only after periodical meetings and submission of petitions to the District Collectorate, Block Development Office and Rural Development Executive Engineer, the issues are solved.

Secondly, as per the rules, the petitioners should be informed on the action taken regarding the petitions before or at the next gram sabha meet, which is not followed, residents complained.

A sign of hope

For the first time in the history of Moovarasampet Village Panchayat, the first Gram Sabha meet of this year was chaired by the Alandur MLA T. M. Anbarasan, which residents term it as a ‘sign of hope’.

For years, the meet just used to be an eye-wash. This meet shows signs of improvement. He has committed to do many things in the Moovarasampet region and has said funds will be allocated based on the petitions. This is a welcome move, the residents pointed out.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:06:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/awareness-plays-a-key-role/article30770989.ece

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