BENGALURU: As part of its decentralisation exercise, the state government has directed all gram panchayats to hold Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meetings compulsorily once in three months, to discuss civic, health, education and agricultural issues, and resolve them at the village level. This is a first of its kind in India, where such mini sessions are held at the village level.
Karnataka has over 6,000 gram panchayats, which have to hold meetings in July, October, December and April every year, under the aegis of the panchayat chairperson. The panchayat involves more than 30 members, including the president, vice-president, members, panchayat development officer, besides officials and members from the departments of agriculture, forest, health, women and child, milk federation, statistics and many more.
The order, issued by panchayat raj director Yelakki Gowda, under the 73rd amendment of the Constitution, says that the state government has decided to introduce the KDP at this level to monitor schemes related to poverty eradication, nutrition programmes for mothers-to-be and children, women and child health, education, distribution of foodgrains, working of primary health centre , veterinary hospitals etc.
The state government decided to constitute the KDP Committee, which will monitor implementation of these schemes at the hobli and GP level once in three months, and this will be submitted to the executive officer of the Taluk Panchayat, failing which action will be taken.
A senior official, on condition of anonymity, said that they have a prescribed format which should be followed by all panchayats during the KDP meeting. They should mention grants remaining, physical progress, target, achievement of NREGA grants, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, State and Central Finance Commission grants, borewell drilling, housing, rehabilitation of bonded labour and many more. “The idea behind this is to decentralise and give more power to local bodies. This will also strengthen and give more power to the president and vice-president,’’ he said.