Each gram panchayat to get urban facilities soon - The New Indian Express

Each gram panchayat to get urban facilities soon

Published: 15th October 2013 08:21 AM

Last Updated: 15th October 2013 08:21 AM

To promote inclusive growth and improve living conditions in rural areas, the Department of  Rural Development and Panchayat Raj has listed 15 basic facilities to be provided in every gram panchayat.

The onus of providing these facilities is entrusted to gram panchayats and they have been instructed to include these works in their yearly development plans to be implemented through various government schemes in a speedy manner.

Apart from drinking water, sanitation and road development works, which usually feature in most of the government schemes, facilities like providing a playground, burial ground, sheepcote, public library, storage house for agriculture produce, open air theatre, citizens’ service centre, training for unemployed youths  and development of lakes feature in the list.

According to the 2011 census, around 61.43 per cent of the total 6.11 crore people in the state live in rural areas. In all, there are 5,629 gram panchayats consisting of 27,397 villages and 59,532 habitats in the state.

“The idea is to ensure that people in rural areas are on par with urbanites. A majority of these facilities can be provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. For some, special grants may be required and this will be looked into. There is no dearth of funds under the MGNREG scheme and it will also create employment opportunities for people in the villages,” Principal Secretary to Rural Development and Panchayat Raj T M Vijay Bhaskar said.

For instance, under the ‘Nammoora Kere’ programme, a circular has been issued to undertake 12,000 lake rejuvenation works across the state.

Another major aspect is the citizens’ service centre to be opened in every gram panchayat.

At present, people have to travel to the head office of various departments to avail government services. Now, with the e-governance department approving the opening of citizen service centres in each gram panchayat, people can get information about various schemes under one roof.

Apart from this, in order to help small and marginal farmers who do not have enough means to store their agriculture produce, it is planned to set up store houses.

“Also, it has been planned to provide 55 litres per capita per day of pure drinking water. Under the drinking water scheme, efforts will also be made to ensure individual household get tap connections,” he said.

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