Lucknow: 78 percent of the population of Uttar Pradesh is located in rural areas. Participation of rural people in various schemes operated in the villages is essential for the success of the scheme. The state government is striving and committed for the development of every resident of its rural areas. All the important schemes of the government are implemented in rural areas through village panchayats or with their cooperation.
According to the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, the three-tier Panchayati Raj system is applicable in the state. At present there are more than 58000 gram panchayats in the state. For the last several years, the work of constructing Panchayat Bhawan or Community Hall in Gram Panchayats is going on. The thinking behind which is that regular office should be operated in these panchayats, but the earlier efforts to run the office at the gram panchayat level have not been successfully implemented. Whereas for fulfilling the responsibilities given to the Gram Panchayats, their own building is necessary.
Important steps are being taken by the Panchayati Raj Department of the present Government of Uttar Pradesh for the establishment of Village Secretariat for Gram Swaraj in all the Gram Panchayats of the State. Under this, the work of repair/expansion/renovation of Gram Panchayat office building is being done as required. The most important thing is that a time-bound target has been set to complete all the works in the next three months, for which work is being done on a war footing. There is a need for repair and expansion in more than 33 thousand pre-constructed panchayat buildings, while more than 24 thousand new panchayat buildings are to be constructed. It is noteworthy that these buildings of Gram Panchayat can function as village secretariat, so that many facilities are being set up in them. All these gram panchayat buildings are being connected to the internet.
Common Service Center will be operated in Panchayat offices only. So that the villagers will be able to know about the schemes being run by the state government for the benefit of different sections. The government is running a scheme to provide banking facility to the people in the gram panchayats through B.C. Sakhi. This work will also be ensured to be done from the Gram Panchayat building itself. The personnel of various departments at the village level can sit and work in the village panchayat as per the requirement. For this also, it is necessary for the Gram Panchayat to have its own building.
For furnishing each Gram Panchayat building, the Gram Panchayats will be able to purchase furniture and other necessary materials themselves. In which computers, cupboards, solar panels, inverters and batteries, CCTV cameras are also included. For this an amount of Rs 1,75,000 is being given to the Panchayats.
The present government of the state is also going to provide wide employment opportunities in gram panchayats. Efforts made in the past to run the Gram Panchayat office could not be completely successful because at present only about 11,008 Panchayat Secretaries/Village Development Officers are working in more than 58000 Gram Panchayats of the state. Due to which a worker was not able to run the office by attending the Gram Panchayat regularly every day due to the workload of more than one Gram Panchayat. Therefore, the present government is going to select Panchayat Assistant / Accountant-cum-Data Entry Operator in these Panchayats to overcome the shortage of personnel. For this, the administrative committee of the Gram Panchayat will select the eligible candidates from the same Gram Panchayat. These personnel will conduct the day-to-day operations of the Gram Panchayat.
The Panchayat Assistant/Accountant-cum-Data Entry Operator will be paid six thousand rupees per month by the Gram Panchayat in return for its services. Necessary training will also be provided to these personnel by the Directorate of Panchayati Raj, Panchayati Raj Training Institute (PRIT), so that they will be able to perform their work well. To ensure transparency in the appointment process of Panchayat Assistant and to prevent nepotism, the State Government has also made elaborate provisions. Under which the Pradhan, Up-Pradhan, member or any relative of the Secretary of the Gram Panchayat cannot be kept on this post. Birth and death registration form in the village secretariat, family register, booklet and bill voucher related to the income and expenditure of the village panchayat, action register, list of eligible beneficiaries of various schemes, list of BPL families, application form for availing benefits in various schemes etc. will be kept available, so that they can be used as per the requirement.
The establishment of Village Secretariat will further strengthen rural democracy. This effort of the state government will give a new flight to the development of villages.
All the residents of the village will be able to get information about the schemes being run by the state and central government for their benefit from the village secretariat. They will also be able to apply for those schemes from the Common Service Center established in them. All the information related to rural development will be available here through internet. Village secretariat will enable the villagers of the state to establish synergy with the development of India and the world. This step of the state government will prove helpful in the all-round development of the villages and will make the life of the villagers easier. While on one hand it will promote government-citizen interaction, on the other hand it will also give impetus to the rural economy by providing employment opportunities in rural areas.