ADILABAD: The small panchayats of erstwhile Adilabad district are in quite a pickle. It appears that the Telangana government, after advising the panchayats to purchase tractors for door-to-door collection of garbage, have abdicated its responsibility of releasing enough funds to help them pay the EMIs for bank loans, which were raised to buy the vehicles.
Now, the panchayats are paying up with whatever little money they have been given for the development of their villages. With a large slice of the funds going towards the EMIs, the panchayats have little left for other development works.
The State government releases funds on the basis of the population of the villages, every month. But it is hardly enough. For instance, a tribal panchayat gets Rs 50,000 per month, of which Rs 20,000 goes towards the payment of EMIs. The remainder is not enough to pay for the power charges and tractor maintenance, let alone take up other development works.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had kept his word of converting tribal hamlets and small panchayats into independent gram panchayats. So when the government had asked them to acquire tractors to remove garbage from homes to keep the streets spic and span, they followed the advice, euphoric that they were getting the attention they ought to.
But soon, they realised that they would have to pay the EMIs for the tractors from the funds sanctioned to them every month. The catch, however, is that small panchayats get fewer funds compared to the bigger ones. Most of the 660 gram panchayats in the district are faced with the same predicament.
Speaking to Express, a sarpanch of a recently-formed panchayat said that at the time of the creation of the villages, the officials did not compute the population figures properly. “The State releases funds based on these figures,” he explained.