Director of Panchayats calls for an extra-ordinary Gram Sabha
On the 3rd of September, the Director of Panchayats called for an extra-ordinary Gram Sabha in all the panchayats in Goa so that they can constitute the Village Development Committees (VDC’s). The first gram sabha post the panchayat elections was held in July and all the Panchayats were supposed to form the mandatory committees like Village Child Development Committee, Village Biodiversity Management Committee,Village Road and Safety Management Committee, Village Health, Nutrition and Sanitation Committee, and the Village Water and Sanitation Committee.
However, most of the Panchayats have not constituted these important committees yet. It must be noted that the VDC can only be constituted once the other committees have been created with the requisite members. The VDC is created with the members of all the other mandatory committees and the newly elected members of the Panchayat.
We have discussed earlier in our series of blog articles the importance of these committees as a tool for self governance and also to aid the development of the village. Without these committees being formed, the government cannot release funding for development projects. At the first Gram Sabha post the panchayat elections, the formation of the various councils are a vital part of the Gram Sabha agenda. However, it is the duty of the citizens to ask for these councils to be formed.
The Director of Panchayats, Sandhya Kamat, in a report published in the The Goan has stated that in case the committees haven’t been formed with the new members, they can continue functioning with the old members. While this allows for vital development projects to go ahead and for funding to come through, it also lets complacency and corruption to sink in.
Citizens should take an active interest in the functioning of the panchayat and the gram sabha. If the panchayats have continued the mandatory committees with the old members, citizens can still participate in meetings and assist with development plans.
If you want to know about the minutes of the last Gram Sabha and if the extra-ordinary Gram Sabha was held in your village according to guidelines, go visit the panchayat secretary and ask details for the same. Minutes of all meetings and member lists of the committees are available with the panchayat secretary.