I would like to highlight the declining Social status of Block Development Officers in our State. The offices of the Block Development Officer were created in the year 1956 with the launch of Community Development and National Extension Service (CD&NES) through out the country. The main objective of this program was development of rural infrastructure including rural roads, irrigation channels and alike segments. Besides a large number of allied departments including agriculture, horticulture, sericulture, animal husbandry, poultry, etc were the main components of the Rural Development Department. The basic unit of this program was the village Panchyat headed by a Panchayat committee with the VLW as secretary of Panchayat. A cluster of village Panchayats constituted a block headed by a Block Development Officer (BDO).
The BDOs used to be very responsible in their duties and left no stone unturned in achievement of the targets. Consequently, the results were visible. The most significant achievement of that era is Green Revolution in the field of agricultural development leading to many times increase in the agricultural production and India became self sufficient in food grains.
However, with the passage of time, the importance of the office of Block Development Officer has reduced significantly. The BDOs do never bother to visit the areas to personally oversee the development works. There is no check on the quality of work and the funds are misappropriated. In this context I would like cite the example of BDO, Nowshera and Lamberi with special reference to Panchayat Chakjaralan and Bagnoti. I have never seen any BDO visiting this area while the public funds have been wasted on large scale. A number of unwanted and unnecessary structures including toilets, community halls etc have been constructed and laying useless. These constructions are raised without holding any public meetings. A piece of very valuable land is also being wasted at Chakjaralan/Bagnoti.
It looks as if the concerned BDOs are doing nothing except drawing money by passing bills without checking the nature and quality of work. It indicates that the BDOs are turning with ATMs and facilitating drawal money only. Hence, the matter needs immediate attention to bring about desired change
O P Sharma