Govt must address issues of Panchayats on priority: AJKPC

A Sarpanch observing fast at dharna venue while others protesting in Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
A Sarpanch observing fast at dharna venue while others protesting in Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Panchayat members strike enters 6th day

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 8: All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC), a frontline organisation fighting for the empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in J&K, urged upon the Lt Governor Girish Chandra Murmu to address the issues of the Panchayats without any delay and restore confidence among its members.
The organization also blamed the officials of Rural Development Department (RDD) for scuttling effective implementation of MGNREGA scheme in J&K and said that UT Administration must identify the black sheep and provide them forced retirement.
On the 6th day of ongoing hunger strike launched by the elected Panchayat members under the leadership of AJKPC state president Anil Sharma against the non-clearance of MGNREGA liabilities, the elected Panchayat members said that the MGNREGA liabilities had been created in J&K due to ill-intentions of RDD officials, including Junior Engineers (JEs) and Village Level Workers (VLOs).

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“The RDD has become a den of corruption where the officers from lower rank to higher rank are involved in making money through illegal means. For getting administrative approval to clearing the estimation of plans, the most of the RDD officials always demand money/ commission. Even the MLAs and the MPs have not been able to keep a check on these malpractices. It was due to these malpractices that the Centre’s flagship MGNREGA scheme had not been able to yield its desired results even after its commencement many years ago,” he added.
“With the provision of transfer of money directly into the accounts of beneficiaries and suppliers who had been supplying material for development works in rural areas, RDD officials have been finding it difficult to make money through illegal means and they are now resorted to creating obstacles in clearing liabilities of MGNREGA scheme,” he said.
The AJKPC leader urged the Lieutenant Governor to order an inquiry to weed out corrupt practices from the RDD so that all Central sponsored schemes including MGNREGA can reach to rural masses in an effective and transparent manner.
Meanwhile, Panchayat members who are on hunger strike under the leadership of Anil Sharma, president, AJKPC at Dogra Chowk near Press Club, have alleged that State Administration was least bothered about the plight of the Panchayat Institutions and their welfare. They said that the condition of several fasting Sarpanches is deteriorating but the top officers in the Administration were least concerned. They condemned the arrogant attitude of the officers at the helm of affairs.