Odisha: Bureaucrats roping in PRI members for grassroot development & being accessible to the end-users will have far reaching effects

Report by Badal Tah, Rayagada: Reviewing Govt’s flagship programmes on a sustained basis leads to gap identification and a process of refection-action. This prime role in the whole district is considered to be taken up by the district collector. Along with govt officers, s/he is supposed to work with the three tier Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRI) like Zilla Parishad, Panchayat Samititis & Gram Panchayats. The newly joined Collector Ms Swadha Dev Singh, IAS has followed this principle in true spirit. She has intensely interacted with 226 PRI members and had dialogue on the difficulties faced in working together in implementing development projects & possible ways in clearing hindrances. Though the orientation lasted for a day or so, it was a goot start to be further followed up at block level by the respective Block Development Officers.

During a recent visit to Ramanaguda block, she alongwith the local Panchayat Samiti Member Sri Rabi Gomango inspected several govt offices and reviewed concerned schemes. After distributing 35 Record of Rights(RORs) or pattas to 35 High Schools in the block conference hall, she visited the 5-T high school, interacted with pupils & teachers, reviewed the progress made in smart class rooms, laboratory & library. Instructed the head master to repair the computers, which were out of order & purchase necessary lab equipments.

Then after inspecting the CDPO office under construction, she instructed the SDO, R & B deptt to complete the Shakti Bhawan within one month and construct boundary wall and a connecting road to the building. While inspecting the renovation of Amrit Sarovar Tank at Khilapadar in Parikhiti GP, which was constructed under MGNREGA, instructed the engineers to take up this type of projects with estimated cost of Rs. 30 lakhs at atime instead of splitting into several parts and suggested to install sitting bench and chairs for public use. In Gulunthi School she interacted with students, teaching staff & reviewed the basic amenities available in the girl’s hostel. While inspecting a MGNREGA cashew plantation implemented by Horticulture Deptt in Gulunthi, she instructed the Asst Horticulture Officer to go for drip irrigation to enhance productivity in summer season.

In Dangubadi she encouraged the SHG members having a paper plate production unit. In the same village, she had an interface with SHG members, who took up pisciculture with help of fishery deptt and instructed the BDO to arrange fishing nets for them. In Badabamunigaon village, she advised two farmers named Brundaban Purushottam & Karunakara Behera, who cultivated G9 banana, to give priority in using bio-fertilizer. At last the Collector visited to the Palkidang village to examine the Rural piped water supply project taken up by RWS&S. The SDO, RWS&S informed the Collector about the unavailability of required electricity supply to the project site and requested immediate access of 33KV electric connection. The Collector assured the SDO that she will discuss this matter with Executive Engineer, Electricity dept. to sort out this issue. “During this tenure, a Collector really delivers to bring real change in the lives of the people. Next hierarchy in state capital has least scope for doing pro-people experiments’, said Sri Bijaya Mishra, a farmer entrepreneur from Munising village .

She has, thus, gone beyond mere visits & inspection of offices. All along her visits, the local chairman accompanied her. She interacted with the end users & issued necessary instructions to be dovetailed in the plan of action. By doing this process she has not only been accessible to her subordinates but also to PRI members and the beneficiaries at large. The scribes need to project these instructions issued during her inspection so that follow-up can be initiated by the stakeholders, who are involved in the process.

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