Government approves proposal to carve out new panchayats
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government today approved the proposal to carve out 500-600 new panchayats in the state before the panchayat polls next year giving rise to criticism from the Opposition which alleged the move is aimed at diluting pockets where it has stronghold.
A formal notification on the reorganisation of panchayats will be issued soon. Minister of state for panchayatiraj Arun Sahu said the new panchayats will also go to polls in the panchayat polls scheduled in February, 2017.
The minister said the state government will submit records pertaining to the boundary, ward details and reservation status of the panchayats to the State Election Commission (SEC) within a month. The process of reorganisation of the panchayats will be completed within the next two to three months, he said and added that a panchayat can have 11 to 25 wards.
The State Cabinet on June 5 had approved a proposal to amend ‘The Orissa Grama Panchayat Act’ to pave the way for creation of new panchayats in the state. The new panchayats are being created as per the announcement made by the BJD in the 2014 election manifesto.
The manifesto said all the villages having a population of 1000 or more will be converted into gram panchayats in a phased manner to improve local governance ans service delivery. Besides, it also promised that all gram panchayats will be provided with untied funds for planning and execution at the panchayat level.
However, the opposition political parties have criticised the move of the government. The decision to create new panchayats before the polls is politically motivated, senior BJP leader Sajjan
Sharma said and added this will not solve the problem. Some big and small panchayats will continue remain, he said and added new panchayats are being carved out to suit the agenda of the BJD.
Congress leader Prafulla Majhi also alleged that the decision to carve out new panchayats has been taken keeping the election in mind.