Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra today made a strong case for the up-gradation, strengthening and computerized of Panchayats besides equipping Panchayat Headquarters with ultra modern techniques.
Urging Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj Mr. V. Kishore Chandra Deo to put functioning of Panchayats online, Mr. Rakhra said that there should be hi-tech ‘Resource Centers’ at district level for the facilitation of rural population. Mr. Deo was here to preside over a workshop organized by Punjab Rural Development and Panchayats Department at Vikas Bhawan in which elected panchayati representatives from Punjab and Haryana participated.
Mr. Rakhra informed the Minister that Punjab Government was taking revolutionary steps for the holistic development of more than 12000 villages in the state at par with the urban development. He said that in coming years Punjab villages would witness the same facilities, which were being provided in the urban areas including 100 percent potable water, sewerage and street lights and road network. He said that Punjab has also initiated the implementation of project to bring all panchayats under the ambit of e-panchayats. He said that 20 percent villages in Punjab had state-of-the-art Panchayat Headquarters while Tarn Taran district have its well-maintained Resource Center whereas the work for such centers have been started at Mansa and Fazilka district. He informed the minister there was a need to built 19 more resource centers in the state. Mr. Rakhra demanded that Union Government should launch a policy for further strengthening of Panchayats.
After hearing the requisite demands of Mr. Rakhra, the Union Minister assured that Union Government would soon initiate steps in this regard, which would be a boon for Panchayats.
Congratulating Punjab Government for holding this workshop, Mr. Deo said that Panchayats would be made more empowered in coming time. He also gave a call to Panchayats for launching sustained drive against the social menace female foeticide at the ground level by making rural population aware in this regard. He said it should be ensured that there would be minimum four meetings of gram sabha with Mahila Sabhas in villages to educate the people against social evils.
Mr. Mantar Singh Brar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats welcomed the Union Minister. He said that this workshop gave an opportunity to elected representatives of Panchayats to rake up their issues before the Union Minister. Representatives of Panchayats also demanded the 50:50 ratio under the MGNREGS and making the rules for BPL survey according to the present circumstances of the state.Prominent amongst those present on the occasion including Mr. Harooshikesh Pandey, Additional Secretary Union Panchayats Ministry, Mr. Avtar Singh Sahota, Senior Economic Advisor of Ministry, Mr. G Vajralingam, Financial Commissioner Revenue (Rural Development), Mr. S. Karuna Raju, Director Rural Development and Panchayats, Mr. Nitin Yadav, Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, Haryana and Mr. R.K. Mehta, Deputy Director, from Haryana.