Pressure forces PDOs to call it quits

Officers only ornamental figures in Gram Panchayat

The aim of creating the posts was to fortify the Panchayat Raj system and help the governing body in managing the ongoing works involving huge funds swiftly.
Unfortunately, in the district, the Panchayat Development Officers, who were appointed to manage the Panchayats are bidding adieu to the job as they are unable to cope with the pressure and put up with lack of respect.

Evidently, as many as six PDOs quit from the job in a month’s time. There are 203 GPs in the district but only 128 PDOs are working. As many as 91 were direct recruitments while the rest were promoted candidates. Out of the 91, only 87 reported to duty, of which 6 resigned lately.

When the post was created, candidates from various walks of life, including B.E and B.Tech, lured by the very designation appeared for the examination and got selected. Since the nature of work publicised was rather vague and painted a large than life picture of managing the entire functioning of the GPs.

However, on becoming the part of the system, the PDOs have now realised that it is not all that hunky-dory as it was publicised to be.

A PDO on condition of anonymity said that most of the PDOs across the district do not have well defined job profile. Since decisions, both administrative and financial, are done by the Panchayat President and the Secretary, a PDO is just an ‘ornamental figure’ or rather a forced ‘yes man’ to the elected representative.

“Lack of respect and non-co-operation is something we have to fight everyday,” says the PDO.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Zilla Panchayat CEO P Shivshankar said that shortage of PDOs is a cause of concern but the ZP is managing by deputing the PDOs from the nearby GP or with the help of GP secretaries to run the show.

Citing example of the six PDOs who opted to walk out, Shivshankar said that the six have cited work load and non-co-operation as the reason for their decision. “All of them came from teaching background, which is more of a relaxed job. They could not mould themselves to the job profile, which was given to them as PDOs. I did counsel them but they were sure that they wanted to leave,” he said adding that in the district, there are only 30 PDOs who are doing excellent job in their GPs.

Most PDOs say that they were lured by the designation but now even a pay scale of Rs 18,000 per month (inclusive of all allowances) and promotional opportunities lining up in the future do not seem to be reasons good enough to stay back.

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