from daijiworld's special correspondent
Panaji, Jul 12: The Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) has called for the directorate of panchayats to ensure that gram sabhas are held regularly and that all the newly-elected village panchayat members begin their term in office in the right spirit of making democracy work at the grassroots by attending all the Gram Sabhas.
In a letter to director of panchayats Menino D'Souza, with copies to the respective deputy directors, block development officers at the taluka level, minister of panchayats Manohar Azgaonkar and dhief secretary J P Singh, GOACAN has requested the director of panchayats to ensure that previous gram sabhas scheduled for January and April are held before the village panchayats convene the gram sabha for the month of July.
As the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India was meant to empower the panchayats for strengthening grassroot democracy and give more power to the people, GOACAN has called for the involvement of gram sabha members in the formation of various committees thereby ensuring their participation in the decision making process of the village panchayat.
Presently the Panchayat Raj Act provides for the setting up of the ward development committees, vigilance committees, supervisory committees, social justice committee and amenities committee in the village panchayat besides a village child committee as per the Goa Children's Act 2003 and a garbage management committee as per the Goa Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act 1996.
GOACAN has also called for clear instructions from the directorate to all panchayats with regards to the availability of important documents such as the gram sabha minutes, annual budget, annual development plan and the audit report of the panchayat. as well as the implementation and compliance of Section 4 of the Right to Information Act 2005.
Meanwhile GOACAN calls upons citizens to take keen interest in putting proposals on road safety and traffic management, health, social and environmental issues for their forthcoming gram sabhas in their respective village panchayats and obtain certified copies of the resolutions passed. Citizens can send copies of their proposals and resolutions to GOACAN Post Box 187, Margao 403 601.