Developmental works at Panchayat level

Unless concerted efforts from all concerned wings of the Government are pooled together, no headway can be achieved in implementation of any flagship scheme or any decision of an innovative nature. It also is obligatory for the concerned authorities to ensure that in order to run a scheme or implement it on the ground, unnecessary haste was not done either, to avert post implementation problems. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir having recently decided to encourage the local entrepreneurs and contractors attached to a village Panchayat for taking works related to various developmental schemes but to a limit of Rs.3 lakh to start with , and for the purpose, participate in the tendering process , should have generated enough requisite response on the ground by now . Looking to the importance given to village Panchayat levels to get involved in more and more activities related to the development of their respective villages, besides strengthening the grass root democratic process by way of wider participation of local residents, thus creating and owning assets out of the works allotted at Panchayat levels , had in the event of non- availability or ineffective participation of the concerned Panchayat allowed the residents of the nearby Panchayat to step in and participate in the said tendering process but not let the opportunity get skipped.
In this connection, instead of the said participation to be witnessed of an encouraging level, total slackness in it has not fulfilled the desired objectives of the decision of the Government and for ensuring that, the said tendering process picked up both speed and wide coverage across the Union Territory, a deadline of September 15 having now been fixed by the Government should result in serious efforts put in by the respective District Administration in respect of the development process at the grass root levels to be accelerated. Maximum local participation would result in not only timely and quality works done as there would be enough exposure and more of the local ”surveillance” but accountability and transparency too would be ensured in executing of such works. It is presumed that enough data about the works is compiled if the same could also be related to the phases of “Back to Villages” programmes with an aim to energize Panchayats where enough feedback in respect of the works, small projects etc required at the village levels was given to the visiting Government officials by the residents hence what is required now is maximum tendering and allotment of works. Modalities about registration of intending participants having already been made quite easy and hassles free is yet another opportunity for the district administration to make an awareness campaign about the scheme to ensure maximum participation.
In the meantime , continuous review at higher levels of the administration of the outcome of such innovative Government decisions related to developmental works at Panchayat levels should be such so as to put the district administration on virtual tenterhooks. In fact, the response to tendering process being lukewarm may be due to host of reasons mainly non-awareness which the District Administration must properly address . Linking performance and under performance to the concerned District Development Commissioners’ Annual Confidential Report is only to bring home the importance of performing and performing timely and effectively. The participation in the tendering process by the Panchayat residents could also be seen in the context of the UT Government embarking upon the fulfilment of a vision to address the unemployment issue and turn the unemployed ones into ”job providers” on micro levels especially in rural sector though much needs to be done . Works undertaken for execution at Panchayat levels by the local residents could be seen in that context also . The limit of Rs.3 lakh may be one of the inhibitions by a few prospective participants but not by many, hence it is up to the district administration to ensure maximum local participation for the development of respective Panchayat villages.