Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh hamlets shine in rural survey

Kuligod in Karnataka’s Belagavi district is the country’s best developed village, but more than a third of the gram panchayats ranked in the top 10 are in Andhra Pradesh, according to the findings of an ongoing Rural Development Ministry survey.

With multiple panchayats assigned the same score – and thus tied at the same ranking – there are 97 panchayats in the top 10 ranks. Of these, 37 panchayats are in Andhra Pradesh while 24 are in Tamil Nadu.

Villages from other States are represented only in single digits. Of the States going to the polls next month, Telengana and Madhya Pradesh have five and four panchayats in the top 10 ranks respectively.

The Rural Development Ministry has done a gap analysis of more than 3.5 lakh villages, in more than 1.6 lakh panchayats under the Mission Antyodaya convergence scheme. A team of officials surveyed and scored village level facilities and amenities using parameters related to infrastructure, economic development and livelihood, irrigation facilities, health, nutrition and sanitation, women’s empowerment, and financial inclusion.

While in October 2017, an initial baseline survey was carried out in 50,000 gram panchayats, this year, the exercise is expected to cover all of the country’s 2.5 lakh panchayats by the end of November. The rankings will be updated as more panchayats are included, the Ministry said.

At the national level, the data shows progress in some areas and also spotlights discrepancies in respect of targets met under some other government schemes.

For example, the survey reveals that more than 95% of villages have electricity available for domestic use, while the government had earlier this year claimed that 100% of villages had power connections.

Similarly with regard to sanitation, the survey shows only 58% of villages — slightly more than 2 lakh of the 3.5 lakh surveyed villages — are open defecation free (ODF). However, according to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Gramin, 5.13 lakh of India’s 6 lakh villages are already ODF.

The survey also shows only 21% of villages having a community waste disposal system.

About a quarter of all villages have more than 75% of households using clean energy, such as LPG or biogas.

The survey indicates moderate progress in the rural housing scheme: less than 10% of the villages have more than 80% of their houses with kachha walls and roofs, indicating temporary structures. More than 73% of the villages are connected with an all-weather road.

Financial inclusion still has some way to go, with less than 15% of villages having banks, while just more than 10% have ATMs. While more than 26% of villages have post office facilities, only 8% have a soil testing centre and almost 12% have a government seed centre.

The gap analysis allows citizens and policymakers to track development in each individual village, apart from the nationwide trends.

For example, in Kuligod, a village with total population of 6,970, irrigation facilities have improved immensely since the 2011 census, rising from 82 hectares to 3,472 hectares over that time period. From no piped water in 2011, all households now have access to piped water, according to the survey. This ‘best developed village’ has also progressed on sanitation and been declared ODF.

“Making this information available at your fingertips for every village in the country allows for greater public accountability,” said Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary, Department of Rural Development. “It also allows for more evidence-based planning at the panchayat level.”

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 12:35:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ap-hamlets-shine-in-rural-survey/article25252691.ece

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