Jammu: Perturbed over slackness in tendering of developmental works at the Panchayat level, Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta has fixed September 15 deadline for the same and made it clear that further delay will be viewed seriously and consequential action including reduction in the plan size will be ordered.
Moreover, poor performance in this regard will be recorded in the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of the District Development Commissioners (DDCs).
In order to accelerate grass root development of villages, the Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha recently decided to restrict to local residents of a Panchayat the participation in tendering process of works up to Rs 3 lakh.
“In the event of inadequate response to the tenders, the participation norms will be relaxed to include bidders from neighbouring Panchayats”, the Administrative Council ordered, adding “the residents of Panchayats, who wish to participate in the tendering process, will have to get registered in a simple system of registration to be maintained at the level of Deputy Commissioners”.
These registrations will be done on the basis of documentary evidence like Aadhaar, PAN Card and Domicile Certificate, while the verification process will be completed through Panchayats and the local police only, the Administrative Council further ordered while claiming that decision will enhance transparency and speedy execution of developmental works through local participation which will also boost public ownership of the created assets.
However, during the recent review of the developmental works at Panchayat level it came to the fore that very small amount of works at the Panchayat level have been tendered out and this presents a dismal picture.
“Taking serious note of slackness in the tendering of developmental works at the Panchayat level, the Chief Secretary has issued directions for expediting the process of tendering and allocation of the identified works”, reported daily excelsior quoting official sources, adding “Dr Mehta has fixed timeline of September 15 for tendering of identified works in all the Panchayats across the Union Territory”.
“Any further delay in this regard will be viewed seriously and consequential action including reduction in the plan size will be ordered. Moreover, poor performance on this account will be recorded in the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of the District Development Commissioners”, sources said quoting the warning issued by the Chief Secretary, adding “even the Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has been asked to review the tendering of works at the Panchayat level regularly”.
Dr Mehta, according to the sources, has also advised that all the developmental works should be undertaken with due deference to the procedures and made it clear that no violation of norms will be permitted while executing the developmental works. “A transparent culture of tendering should be ensured”, sources said further quoting the directions of the Chief Secretary.
Moreover, directions have been issued that the Chairpersons and Members of the other tiers of the democracy-District Development Councils and Block Development Councils should be proactively engaged in various developmental activities.
“At the same time, they shall also be informed about the procedural requirements, statutory responsibilities and obligations to be observed while discharging official duties”, read the instructions issued by the Government.
In order to address the shortage of engineering staff in the Rural Development Department, which may affect the pace of works in Panchayats, Rural Development Department has already been authorized to engage optimal number of retired engineers on contractual basis as part of the project management unit in respective districts. Moreover, instructions have been issued for delegation of powers to AEEs in the Rural Development Department.
It is pertinent to mention here that the decision is aimed at encouraging local participation in development works in the Panchayats. Further, it will help in speedy and timely execution of works besides check on quality control and will benefit local people a lot.
The Union Territory Government has taken series of measures to empower the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to strengthen the grassroots democracy and this is one among them.
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