ITANAGAR, Sep 20: The Panchayat leaders of the Papum Pare district have expressed deep resentment over the failure of the state government to devolve power to the Panchayat Raj Institution. Addressing a press here at the conference hall of the Panchayat office, Yupia on Monday, Panchayat leaders cutting across party lines urged the state government to immediately transfer power to PRI.
The Papum Pare ZPC Chukhu Bablu leading the charge said the state government should immediately clarify whether they want to devolve power to Panchayat or not.
“Even if they don’t want to devolve power, they should let us know. But don’t keep us hanging. We are also elected leaders and are answerable to people. But the present situation is making us confused. Conducting Panchayat elections using crores of money is waste if power is not devolved,” said ZPC Bablu. He said in 2014 a Gazette notification was issued granting power to Panchayat bodies. “But this notification is not honored in the district. The deputy commissioners refuse to implement it saying there is no direction from the government. Panchayat leaders are feeling unhappy and helpless. It’s been seven months since we got elected but till now, we are not part of the governance,” alleged ZPC.
He also claimed that in March this year a 5-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary was formed for power devolution. “It was supposed to submit a report in 3 months and the deadline passed in June. But nothing has happened till now,” he added. Further ZPC said Panchayat bodies are waiting for Chief Minister Pema Khandu to fulfill his promise of devolving power. “On several occasions CM assured to transfer power to elected local bodies. We have huge expectations from the CM as he has taken some bold decisions since assuming charge of state. Charter of duty and power should be properly defined for the PRIs,” he added.
The Sangdupota ZPM Hina Camdir Tok said all Panchayat leaders including from ruling BJP and opposition parties are working together seeking early transfer of power.
“At rural level Panchayat is the main branch to implement government programmes and policies. We are facing a lot of trouble in implementing our ideas at grass root due to lack of power. Panchayat should be empowered in the best interest of the state,” said ZPM. He further urged the CM to take historic steps to transfer power to the Panchayat.
ZPM Nabam Yakum claimed that the situation was much better for Panchayat bodies during the Congress era. “During the Congress era at least, the role was defined. But now there is no clarity and a lot of confusion,” she claimed.
Itanagar ZPM Taro Tagia even said that after lots of campaign and meeting with general public of rural area who have lots of hope and expectation from the elected PRI leaders and if we being elected are helpless it’s better to resign adding that we shall always look forward form the state government who are the parents to decide that we are equally working in the greater interest of the public service and development of the area. ZPM Tagia added.
We will continue to wait till the state government gives a clarification on the issue or issue order to the respective district administration to adhere to the power devolution of the state government on 25 subjects of public importance and rural development and panchayati raj. Tagia added.