Committee formed for reorganising GPs in State

The State government has set up a five-member committee to make recommendations on reorganising gram panchayats in the State, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister Jagadish Shettar said on Tuesday.

The committee headed by Mahendra Kanti, an Economics professor, will recommend the reorganising of GP boundaries based on the population. Besides, it will study the need for upgrading GPs to taluk panchayats.

The RDPR department has been receiving large number of applications, seeking reorganisation of GPs. Presently, there is no uniformity among GPs in terms of their population and size. While some GPs are big with more than five villages under them, others are smaller with just two villages.

A M Kittur, Prof Shivanna (both academicians), CEO of Chamarajnagar ZP Sundar Nayak and Project Director Chikkaballapur ZP Balakrishna are its members.

Direct election

Shettar said the government has asked the Centre for Disciplinary Research, Dharwad, to submit a report on introducing direct elections for the post of gram panchayat presidents in the State.

Presently, the government has fixed the term of GP presidents at 30 months and they are elected by the GP members. But many GPs are rampantly misusing the existing system of election. Hence, the government wants to explore the possibility of introducing direct election for the post, besides fixing the president’s term for five years. Such a system is in practice in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Bihar and Haryana. The government will take appropriate decision based on the report, he added.

On the scarcity of drinking water, he said directions have been issued to deputy commissioners of all districts to take necessary steps to provide drinking water to people. The problem is severe in about 100 villages. The government has so far released Rs 135 crore for this purpose, he added.

‘No idea who will present budget’

Senior minister Jagadish Shettar, it appears, is not clear as to who will present the State budget 2012-13.

To a specific query by reporters whether Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda will present the budget on March 21, he said: “I have no information. But I am sure that a BJP chief minister will present the budget.”

Shettar has of late identified himself with disgruntled party leader B S Yeddyurappa, who has been making efforts to come back as the chief minister.

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