Know your responsibilities, panchayat presidents told

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Village panchayat presidents can do wonders to their panchayats if they are aware of their powers and responsibilities, according to G. Palanithurai, Professor of Rajiv Gandhi Chair for Panchayati Raj Studies, Gandhigram Rural University.

Speaking at the inaugural function of a two-day training programme on `Panchayat Administration' here on Saturday, Dr. Palanithurai said only 10 to 15 per cent of the panchayat presidents had made the best use of their powers. The Union Government claimed that Rs. 3 crore was spent on an average in the last five years on each panchayat. But the question of whether all the requirements of each of the panchayats had been fulfilled remained a question.

"If a panchayat president wanted to implement some pressing requirement of the people no rule or provision of any act could stop him."

They should not think that their job ended with handing over petitions collected from the people to the Collector.

They should be aware that it was their duty to protect the natural wealth, like water and mineral. The Assistant Director (Panchayats), S. Indrajith, said the Government was focussing on providing streetlights, drinking water and sanitation facilities.

The Rajiv Gandhi Chair for Panchayati Raj Studies will conduct training programme for all the 431panchayat presidents in batches.

The training would focus on providing orientation on the powers, functions and duties of panchayat administration and give panchayat heads an understanding of issues relating to globalisation pertained to rural livelihood.