Governor calls for more power to panchayats

Governor calls for more power to panchayats

 
“The State governments are not prepared to part with powers to panchayats or the NGOs.

It is only the devolution of powers that can make an impact in rural areas. The funds provided presently are quite meagre and inadequate to improve hygiene,” the governor noted while speaking at a function to release ASHWAS report brought out by Arghyam.

Bhardwaj also called for a movement by consumers, with enlightened citizens taking the lead, to advice the government on measures to be taken to improve their welfare.

He also hoped the government would accept the survey report.

Lauding the “pioneering survey” for its huge sample size, Ravi Kumar, Secretary of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj said the Operation and Maintenance (O &M) efforts related to water have not proved successful.

“There is a wide disparity between north and south Karnataka with the supply to the north in very bad shape. The efforts to improve sanitation have not borne much fruit and much more needs to be done,”, he felt.

Chairperson of Arghyam, Rohini Nilekani, said the shocking revelation was that despite the high levels of contamination in water, the satisfaction levels of the people was quite high.

(55 pc had expressed satisfaction). “People are only looking at taste and clarity of water.

The survey presents the perception of the people and is the first of its kind in the State,” she said.

Vital statistics

* The survey covered 17,200 households spread over 172 gram panchayats across 28 districts (only Urban Karnataka left out)

*15 local NGOs and technical partners involved

* 300 field staff engaged for the exercise

* One-year effort with 40 days of field survey between December 2008 and January 2009.

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