DCs’ monthly village stay evokes mixed reaction

Social activists want impact assessment of the programme

The village stay of the Deputy Commissioners once a month has evoked mixed reactions from social activists, bordering from cynicism to optimism. But it has also ushered in a ray of hope for resolution of long pending problems plaguing the rural community that could be redressed at the local levels and does not entail a policy change.

However, activists want the scope of the programme to be expanded to involve more officials and cover more villages.

M.B. Prabhu, who works for the cause of tribal rights in Veeranhosahalli in Hunsur taluk, said at present the Deputy Commissioner can cover only one village a month. “But if the officials below the rank of the DC are also given a specific timetable so as to redress grievances then the scope and the impact of the programme will be manifold and benefit a large number of people as more villages can be covered’’, he added.

Recently, Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru Rohini Sindhuri visited Yelehundi in H.D. Kote taluk during which she received nearly 130 grievances and petitions most of which could be redressed locally. She said the grievances would be resolved within 15 days. The visit also helped ascertain the available infrastructure at the Primary Health Centres and it was announced that an ambulance would be donated to cater to the local community through the RBI Note Printing Press CSR funds.

A senior official in the Revenue Department said this exercise will help lubricate the bureaucratic machinery and keep the staff on their toes.

Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner M.R. Ravi said the village visits and grievance redressal on the spot is a welcome initiative as a majority of the cases are those that can be dealt at the district magistrate or deputy commissioner’s level and can provide relief to the people.

Change of khata of the land, property mutation, land encroachment, lack of drinking water, issues related to power supply, condition of the village schools, lack of road connectivity and healthcare tend to cover a majority of the grievances.

Also, certain grievances call for inter-departmental coordination and such meetings help in clearing the hurdles to pave way for redressing the issues.

S. Sreekanth of Development through Development (DEED) of Hunsur said though village visits are fine the need of the hour was toning up the administrative machinery in the revenue section at the tahsildar office across the district as bulk of the cases tend to be land or revenue related.

Social activists said what is required is an impact assessment analysis of the programme after a few months so that a broad template for the entire State can be drawn for tweaking the existing institutions for greater efficacy.

Mr. Sreekanth said there are problems that are common across the State. The government should establish a pattern in the issues and analyse why certain problems linger on even after so many decades and tweak the policy for better delivery. “Otherwise, it will be another PR exercise’’, he added.

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