Without records and funds Sarpanches are powerless
When the sarpanches asked panchayat secretaries to handover the records, the latter are reluctant to do so M Manthaiah Adilabad: After much...
When the sarpanches asked panchayat secretaries to handover the records, the latter are reluctant to do so
Adilabad: After much delay, the State Government conducted the polls for gram panchayats in the state in the last week of July. The contesting candidates spent amounts ranging to several lakhs to win the polls. The newly elected sarpanches were sworn-in in the district on August 2.
However, the panchayat secretaries did not hand over the records to the newly elected Sarpanches even after 16 days. As per norms, the records, cheque books and other related material have to be handed over to the Sarpanches on the day of their taking charge. But, this was not done by the panchayat secretaries in the district.
The lame excuse for not handing over the records is that they did not receive clear cut orders from the government on the question of who should have the cheque signing power. They do not know whether it should be joint cheque (signing) power or it should be assigned to Sarpanches.
There are 866 gram panchayats in Adilabad district. No nominations were filed to 7 GPs, polls were not conducted to 2 GPs due to rains and two of the elected sarpanches did not sworn-in. So, 855 Sarpanches took charge on August 2.
The gram panchayats have been under the control of special officers since 2011. The special officers have to maintain all the records with regard to funds with the assistance from panchayat secretaries. There are no proper records either with the special officers or with the panchayat secretaries for the past two years.
The newly elected sarpanches do not know about the quantum of funds available with the panchayats two years ago, funds received from the Government during the two year period, bills paid to the completed works or dues to be paid by the panchayts and other details.
When the sarpanches asked the panchayat secretaries to handover the records, the latter are reluctant to do so.
In some cases, the panchayat secretaries claim that they did not receive any records or bills from the special officers.
In other cases, the secretaries were transferred to other panchayats and at the time of their transfer, they did not hand over the records, it is reported. Yet in some other cases, the panchayat secretaries claimed that they did not receive records from the erstwhile sarpanches two years ago (in 2011).
On the whole, the panchayat secretaries did not hand over the records, or cheque books, or bills to the Sarpanches so far.
But common people, as they elected the new sarpanches, are bringing pressure on the latter to take up development works.
There has been demand from the public to take up sanitation works in the villages immediately. The sarpanches urge the district officials to direct the special officers and the panchayat secretaries to handover the related records and funds to them so that they can function as village heads.