Panchayat secretary for every village in TS: KCR

Hyderabad: In a departure from the earlier norm, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday announced that 9,200 gram panchayat secretaries will be appointed soon, ensuring that every village panchayat in Telangana will have its own exclusive secretary to ensure focused development.

Speaking at a review meeting on the Panchayat Raj Department at Pragathi Bhavan, he said the recruitment process will start within a week and would be completed in a couple of months. “Every gram panchayat in the State should have a secretary irrespective of its size, to ensure its effective functioning,” he said, adding that the panchayat secretaries have to play a vital role in the development of the villages.

The Chief Minister said the newly appointed secretaries will be on probation for a period of three years. He directed the department officials to provide a pay of Rs 15,000 per month to the secretaries during their probation and said the rule of reservation must be observed in their recruitment. Their services will be regularised based on their performance, he said, adding that a policy should be evolved to ensure that those discharging their duties effectively are considered for regularisation of services.

Telangana has, in all, 12,751 village panchayats as per the new Panchayat Act, and of these, 3,562 village panchayats already have regular secretaries. The government created some new gram panchayats and they are in need of secretaries, besides vacancies in old gram panchayats that need to be filled, the Chief Minister said.

Rules to be framed

Rao decided that every village should have a secretary exclusively for its functioning and that the old system of one secretary holding charge of more than one gram panchayat should be done away with. The Chief Minster tasked Panchayat Raj Minister Jupally Krishna Rao, Chief Secretary SK Joshi, Panchayat Raj Principal Secretary Vikas Raj and Commissioner Neetu Prasad with the responsibility of deciding the rules to be framed and the responsibilities to be discharged by the gram panchayat secretaries.

He said the Cabinet would formally approve the proposal when it meets shortly. “The government has taken up the implementation of different programmes with focus on development of every village. The villages would be shaped into development models for other States to follow. We believe that the development of the country lies in the development of its villages. Hence, the government has given top priority and special attention to villages,” he said, adding that the new panchayats were created in a big way in the State for administrative convenience and for paying special attention to the development of tandas, gudems and remote hamlets.

Multiple tasks

The village secretaries have multiple responsibilities, which include implementation of Haritha Haram, village sanitation, tax collection, construction and maintenance of drainage, maintenance of streetlights, fogging operations to check mosquito menace, prevention of epidemics, and upkeep of graveyards and dumpyards.

The Panchayat Raj Secretary will be responsible to take up those works in close coordination with village panchayats. “That is the reason why government has decided to strictly have a secretary for every village. Even a village with a population of just 200 will have a secretary of its own. If all people can work with commitment for development, there would be a sea change within two to three years and Telangana villages will emerge as role models in the country,” he said.

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