Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Petty politics bred Maoists’

;Pranesh Sarkar

KOLKATA, 6 JULY: No development work has taken place in Lalgarh in the past few years owing to petty politics and lack of involvement and initiative of the government employees, and this has ultimately prepared the ground for the Maoists.
This was observed by some senior officials, who visited Lalgarh and held discussions with the villagers to ascertain their needs. The eight officials submitted their reports to the chief secretary today.

One of the officials said: “We have observed that petty politics has hindered development work in the area.

The gram panchayats of the area have undertaken some of the development projects, but only supporters of the party that runs a particular panchayat could enjoy the results of the project. This was noticed in more than one gram panchayat area.”
“A classic example is the BPL list. Supporters of the parties running the gram panchayats have been included in the list despite them being not entitled to the facilities provided for the people living below poverty line. We have found that so many needy people are excluded from the BPL list, while those on the list are not entitled to these facilities,” the official added.

The officials have recommended that the state should act tough and ensure that all needy people, irrespective of political affiliation, are given an opportunity to enjoy the facilities under different development schemes.

However, officials also pointed out that at least 50 per cent of the posts in the block offices or other government offices in the area are lying vacant.
This apart, government officials posted in the area have little involvement with their work.

They recommended a stick and carrot policy for the government officials and employees and also suggested to fill up the vacant posts as early as possible.
The officials laid stress on ensuring food security, income generation, alternative source of income, better healthcare facilities in the area.

An official said a majority of the villagers were given 2-3 days of work under the NREGA in the area. In the lean period (when the villagers do not get work as agricultural labourers) people should get work under NREGA and alternative source of income through animal husbandry or by any other means should be ensured.
They also laid stress on developing the connectivity of the area by carrying out construction of roads. Irrigation, drinking water facility are among the areas where stress has been laid.

Later, Mr Asok M Chakrabarti, chief secretary, said: “The officials have submitted their reports. They have pointed out that there are flaws in distribution of ration cards and BPL list.

They also laid stress on better healthcare and irrigation facilities.”

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