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Acute staff crunch dogs new GPs

Acute staff crunch dogs new GPs
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Even as the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is making tall claims about the kind of development it brought to the youngest State in the country...

Kothagudem: Even as the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is making tall claims about the kind of development it brought to the youngest State in the country and is all set to have its plenary on Friday in Hyderabad, it seems the newly-carved Kothagudem district has its share of woos to wail about.

Though the TRS made it clear that government’s first priority was to provide good administration and development to all panchayats in the State, the gram panchayats in the district are facing a slew of problems.

With the State Legislative Assembly passing the Panchayat Raj Bill recently, the district has got 274 new gram panchayats, thus taking the total number of rural local bodies to 479. Though the government claimed that delimtaion of panchayats was aimed at briging development to the grassroot lever by providing more power to the local bodies, lack of sufficent staff has proved to be a stumbling block for the successful implementation of the Bill.

In one panchayat, minimum requirement of staff is four including one secretary, one clerk, one bill collector and one office assistant. However, in Kothagudem district, 205 old panchayats had 94 regulars secretaries. The remaining posts were filled on contract basis in the district. The income from these panchayats was Rs 10 crore including all taxes and other income.

The old panchayats had no sufficient staff for administration pupose. The officlas divided the panchayats into 182 clusters and one Panchayat Secretary was made in charge of another panchayat in the cluster scheme. So, in the district, there are now a total of 479 panchayats and in cluster-wise there should be 180 Panchayat Secretaries for the smooth administration.

Not just Panchayat Secretaries, all other posts are also needed to be filled soon to implement the new system effectively. According to sources, in Bhadrachalam, Chunchupally, Sarapaka, Aswaraopet, Dhammapet, Laxmi Devi Palley and Burgumphad mandals, there are acute shortage of panchayat staff and unless these posts are filled, administration in these local bodies will be a herculean task. In most of the panchayats, mainly contract workers are now carrying out the works.

CPI leader T Venkateswara Rao demanded that the government appoint required staff in all panchayats to facilitate smooth administration. He said the government’s decision to increase the number of panchayats was a welcome move, and wondered without sufficient staff how they could function smoothly. He asked the government to address the problem at the earliest by appointing enough staff.

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