Chandigarh June 14– In yet another major step to further strengthen and empower the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) by way of devolution of powers and ensure their active participation in the development process of the State, the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal today announced to transfer more works to the Zila Parishads. Now, the Zila Parishad would be able to undertake works under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP).

Mr Manohar was presiding over the meeting of schemes of Development and Panchayats and Rural Development Department here today.

Development and Panchayats Minister Mr O.P Dhankar, MLAs namely Mr Gian Chand Gupta and Mrs Latika Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr Rajesh Khullar, Principal Secretary Development and Panchayats Mr Sudhir Rajpal, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Zila Parishads, all Additional Deputy Commissioners, all Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zila Parishad were also present in the meeting.

He also announced that CEO Zila Parishad would have independent charge and no ADC would be given the charge of CEO, Zila Parishad. He also directed that one Junior Engineer (JE) either from the Rural Development Department or Public Health Engineering Department or other Department be given independent charge in Zila Parishads in each district to carry out development works.

The Chief Minister said that the present State Government has taken several steps to bring about a revolutionary change in the administrative system of PRIs and Rural Development so as to give pace to the development works at the grass root level. Still more needs to be done in this direction, he added. He hoped that the people of the State would give full mandate to the present State Government in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections in the State and give us an opportunity to serve them for second consecutive term. He said that several new initiatives would be taken on the occasion of Haryana Day on November 1, 2019.

He said that the State Government has envisioned a number of initiatives to be implemented including the social audit system to bring about transparency in the execution of works at the grass root level. He said that village level committees comprising ex-servicemen, retired teachers and engineers should be constituted which would not only monitor the progress of development works but also ensure transparency. The Committee would also ensure that the quality material is used in the development works. He said that the public assets should be in the safer hands and for this we need to work as their trustees.

The Chief Minister urged that besides the funds provided by the State Government, the Zila Parishads should make efforts to generate their own resources. He said that earlier, the budget of Zila Parishads used to be only Rs one to two crore whereas, the present State Government has increased the same to Rs 20 to 25 crore. We wanted to further increase the budget of Zila Parishads, he added.

He said that with a view to ensure the active participation of PRIs in the development process of the State, Inter District Council (IDC) has been constituted on the pattern of Inter State Council constituted at the National Level. He said that in the previous meeting of IDC held on January 3, 2019, he has announced to hand over several development works and scheme to the Zila Parishads. These included Maintenance of Shamshanghat (Cremation Ground) or Kabristan under the Shivdham Scheme, construction of new building of Anganwadi Centres and maintenance of old buildings, maintenance of Health Sub Centres, construction and maintenance of Bus Queue Shelter and monitoring of Primary Schools.

Mr Manohar Lal said that like birth registration, the State Government is planning to make death registration mandatory in the State so as to ascertain the actual data of population on real time basis. For this, the registration of all Shamshanghat (Cremation Ground) or Kabristan has been done in the State. For the Shamshanghat (Cremation Ground) or Kabristan in the rural areas, village Chowkidar would be the nodal person whereas in urban areas, the head of society would be the nodal officer.

Earlier, speaking on this occasion, Development and Panchayats Minister Mr O.P Dhankar said that the present State Government has made efforts to ensure development of rural area at par with urban areas. He said that the educated panchayats has given new leadership opportunities to the youth to work for the welfare of their villages. He also urged the people of Haryana residing outside the State to contribute in the development of their villages. He said that the State Government has a dream to provide all facilities in villages at par with cities and towns and this could only be possible with the support and cooperation of the representatives of PRIs.