Anantapur: MPDOs to be made responsible for effective functioning of secretariats

District Collector Nagalakshmi Selvarajan taking secretariat staff to task in a village in Anantapur.
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District Collector Nagalakshmi Selvarajan taking secretariat staff to task in a village in Anantapur.

Highlights

ZP CEO Bhaskar Reddy says the functioning of secretariats and volunteers will be improved and the MPDOs will be made responsible for the effective functioning of secretariats

Anantapur: The village volunteers and village secretariats concept aimed at triggering gram swaraj and bringing administration and government services to the doorstep is now under severe criticism due to the lackadaisical approach of volunteers and secretariat staff. The initial euphoria and the steam appear to have died down.

When the concept was launched 30 months ago, the volunteers kindled interest and hope in people that the days of running from pillar to post for any government benefit is over as an impression is given that the volunteers, who adopt 50 families or more will be taken care of and that the volunteers will reach out unto them. The volunteers although are covering 50 important services, they are not attending to the 540 scheduled services announced by the government.

Jayalakshmi, a volunteer, who resigned her job unable to put up with the work pressure, told The Hans India that too much of work pressure is on the volunteers and that it is humanly impossible to cover 540 services. The concept although beneficial to people overburdened the volunteers. Besides Rs 15,000 wages are a pittance for those who are required to work for 18 hours a day.

Many volunteers are under cloud and are accused of corruption. Some Volunteers are allegedly collecting bribes for the services given by them. For the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government, village volunteers are the lifeline of government and the success of Navaratnas depended very much on the volunteers. On the political front, they are supposed to be the guardians of ruling party vote bank.

Many villagers, who are traditionally TDP supporters are saying that the government claims that the schemes are being given on apolitical lines and on a saturation mode. The local YSRCP leaders and MLAs are discriminating between YSRCP and TDP voters and are not subscribing to the chief minister's views on functioning on apolitical lines. The ruling party MLAs and even the district collector Nagalakshmi too are frequently going for surprise inspections of village secretariats.

Local MLA Anantha Reddy too received several complaints from people on the lackadaisical attitude of the secretariat staff.

ZP CEO Bhaskar Reddy told The Hans India that the functioning of secretariats and volunteers will be improved and that the ZP officials would apply their mind on the subject. The MPDOs will be made responsible for the effective functioning of secretariats and on vigilance on their working style. Irregular attendance of staff and poor monitoring of their job has set in lethargy among the volunteers and staff.

There are innumerable complaints on the staff that they are not being available to the people and that many are dodging work. If the situation continued, the government will see defeat at its own backyard of village secretariats. The very concept which is said to be the CM's brainchild will result in political waterloo of the YSRCP government.

There is a feeling among the volunteers that their salaries have to be hiked and services need to be regularised. Undoubtedly, the village secretariat is the most happening place and unless the system is revitalised what is supposed to be a game changer would turn into fate changer for the YSRCP government which is banking on the effective performance of the revolutionary concept and system.

There are about 900 village secretariats and 15,995 volunteers. The YSRCP bagged 99 per cent of the local body seats in panchayat, mandal and ZPTC elections.

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