Kerala

Grama sabhas hit byfrequent delimitation

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Procedures initiated in a huff overlooking recommendations of the State finance panel.

Frequent delimitation of civic body wards is taking a toll on the functioning of ward and grama sabhas which are already facing the threat of extinction and also the development initiatives in wards reserved for various sections.

Overlooking the recommendations of the Fourth State Finance Commission that the boundaries of civic body divisions should be redrawn only once in a decade and also that the process should be completed a year ahead of the general civic elections, the State government has constituted the Delimitation Commission and initiated the procedures in a huff.

The decision is against the spirit of decentralisation of powers to civic bodies, sources told The Hindu here on Friday. On changing the boundaries of a ward, the constitution of its grama sabha also undergoes a thorough change. The decisions ratified by a sabha prior to delimitation will become invalid. This will affect the continuity of the development works taken up by an elected committee.

Scene in north India

The Panchayati Raj Act provides for only one grama sabha in a civic body and this is still being followed in the panchayats in north India. For, the extent of a panchayat as well as its population is much less than that in Kerala and hence it would be rather easy to include the entire population of a panchayat in one grama sabha itself. On finding it to be unfeasible, the State deviated from the pattern and formed ward sabhas, sources said.

Recurrent rotation of the divisions reserved for women, Scheduled Castes and Tribes will also derail the development initiatives undertaken by them. It will also run against the concept of empowering them. This was more correct in the case of debutants in electoral politics. On changing the status of the ward of a new entrant in any of these categories, the elected member will be forced to relinquish all projects and the funds expended will be wasted.

The State Finance Commission had considered such aspects while recommending to limit delimitation to once in 10 years and it is being overlooked, sources said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:34:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/grama-sabhas-hit-byfrequent-delimitation/article6228077.ece

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