To iron out corruption at the village level, the state panchayat department has decided to develop an online system where all the projects at the village level will be uploaded giving an access to departmental authorities so that they can have an idea about the developments going on at the village level.
According to senior officials of the state panchayat department, the area of operation of the panchayat department is so vast that it is impossible to keep a track of all the developments going on at the village level.
Naturally, the lack of a coordinated monitoring system allows corruption to pop up. To plug these unwanted corrupt practices at the village level the state government has decided to monitor the functioning of the department through a special portal to check the events of corrupt practices.
Recently, the department has issued a notification outlining guidelines on this issue. The department is of the opinion that lack or delayed information is the source of all the corruption and so it has been decided that minute details like the number of residents in a particular village and their opinion, among others, would be uploaded on the portal.
The department also stressed the need for regular local-level meetings with the people residing in the localities concerned.
Every village panchayat has been instructed to form a 'Planning Facilitation Team' by October 30 this year. Each team will be divided into sub-teams of six to seven members who will conduct these locality-level meetings. The outcome and minutes of these meetings will be uploaded on the portal.
"So, the details of the panchayat-level planning and progress of work will be available at the portals, which in turn will lead to more transparency in the functioning panchayats," a department official said.
On this issue, an official of the state panchayat affairs and rural development department said that the entire monitoring process will be implemented in phases.
"The implementation part will be completed by the financial years 2022-23, the process for which will be started from now onwards," he said. Departmental sources also said that pilot- projects for this portal have already started at the panchayat levels.
According to senior Trinamool Congress leader and the state panchayat affairs and the rural development minister, Subrata Mukherjee, his department is supposed to monitor all the development activities of the 3,299 panchayats in the state.
"A major portion of the fund in different projects of the panchayat department comes from central schemes and so the department wants absolute transparency in the system so that the central government doesn't get an opportunity to stop the funding," a senior official of the department said.
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