Panchayats being watered down: Federation

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Puducherry, Jan 29 (UNI) Federation of the Village Panchayat presidents here today charged that the administration has 'cheated' the people by pretending as if adequate powers had been devolved to panchayats here.

Addressing a press conference here today, president of the federation Mr Jaganathan said after much struggle the government had issued orders allocating some powers to the elected local body representatives.

However, the orders still remain on paper only. The village panchayats have no building of their own and the rent for the building was not given for the past 18 months, water charges and electricity tariff were also pending, he said alleging the government had stalled the functioning of the village panchayats citing a court stay.

Mr Jaganathan charged that director of the Local Administration Department Mr Vallabhan was solely responsible for the present situation.

The Puducherry administration and local administration director want village panchayats and they were gradually converting them into self-help group or a ''Narppani Mandram'', he also charged.

Not even a single resolution adopted in the ''grama sabha'' meeting on October 2 last was implemented, he alleged.


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