DC and Zila parishad in confrontation

NAHAN: Cutting across the party line for the first time in the Panchyati Raj history of Sirmour district, Congress ruled Zila Parishad members have opened a front against the Deputy Commissioner of Sirmour. They have alleged that DC was all set to spent 15 crores of rupees under Backward Region Grant Fund [BRGF] which was to be spent through Zila Parishad as per guide lines of government of India, members leveled several charges for continuous ignoring the highest democratic institute by district administration.

After uproars in the Zila Parishad meeting yesterday annoyed Congress and BJP Zila Parishad members have issued a joint press release this evening making their position clear on the issue and announcing their ‘lines of agitation’ against the Deputy Commissioner Sirmour. Preet Mohan and Jitender Rana, both Congress members and Kamal Raj Verma and Lal Singh, both affiliated to BJP, spoke on behalf of Zila Parishad members of Sirmour to convey their concern on the things going on in the district.

Members said that Sirmour and Chamba districts had been selected by the Panchyati Raj Department of Government of India for special development programme known as BRGF and had send approval of 15 crores of rupees as first installment. Money was to be spent through Zila Parishad Sirmour on the different development programme in the district as per guide lines. They alleged that in contravention of guidelines laid by the Govt of India DC was all set to spend the money without even any information to the Zila Parishad which was highly objectionable act.

Press release said that Zila Parishad had convened a special meeting on August 7th next to finalize the proposals under BRGF and had asked DC to make sure the presence of District Planning Officer [DPO] in the meeting. Members alleged that DPO did not attend even a single meeting of the Zila Parishad which was a matter of deep concern. They warned that if they did not get cooperation of district administration in the matter this matter would be raised at State Level on every plate form and with Union Panchyati Raj Minister. They threatened that if their grievances were not solved they would resign from their posts in protest against ignoring the interests of People of Sirmour.

In his aggressive mood, Congress Member Jitender Rana said that members had a long list of allegations against District Administration which was sufficient to prove that administration was ignoring the highest democratic institution of the district since this new Zila Parishad was elected about one and half year back. Despite repeated requests DC did not order District Planning Officer to take part in the Zila Parishad meetings where he was required to finalize the proposals under BRGF programmes. Additional District Magistrate is the Chief Executive Officer of the Zila Parishad who had attended just three meetings during this period, Rana alleged. He alleged that several officers were not attending the meetings from the day one and Zila Parishad had passed a resolution against them and sent to their head of departments. He added that this evening he was leaving for Delhi with his friends to meet Union Panchyati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Ayyar and bring whole matter related with BRGF in to his notice.

When contacted Deputy Commissioner Sirmour Mr. R. S. Negi refuted the charges leveled against him by the Zila Parishad members and made it clear that DPO was his staff officer who was not suppose to take part in the Zila Parishad meetings. He said that mechanism to spent money under BRGF was yet to be finalized. He however said that in the democracy every body had right to criticize any body but he categorically stated that ADM was taking part in the Zila Parishad meetings.

Working as district correspondent with The Tribune & Danik Tribune in Sirmour.

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