Adhyakshas and ADC members demand action from govt on DRDA power transfer

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IMPHAL, Feb 18: Despite the promulgated order of the State Government of transferring the District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA) to the respective chairman of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and Adhyakshas of Zilla parisad under the supervision of the Executive Directors of DRDAs headed by a senior MCS officer, the DCs in some of the districts are allegedly adamantly resisting to hand over full powers to the concern executive directors thereby hampering grass root level development.
In this regard a joint meeting of Adhyakshas and ADC chairmen of six districts was held today at Imphal hotel, chaired by Sadar Hills ADC chairman, Sh. Seipu. The meet while drawing the attention of the concerned authority to intervene into the matter has resolved in taking extreme steps if the concerned authority failed to do so.
Sh. Seipu, stated that even though the order has been already put into effect in the districts of Thoubal, Bishnupur and Chandel, the DCs of Senapati, Ukhrul, Churachandpur, Imphal East and Imphal West have allegedly refused to let go of the responsibility.
Further while elaborating on the issue, the chairman said that the main problems faced by the beneficiaries are in two major schemes which included the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and Manipur Sectoral Development Plan (MSDP).
The ADC chairman further raised his doubts on the intention of the deputy commissioners who seem to be more concern in the grass root administrations rather than focusing on general administration like law and order.
This attitude of the DCs may be construed as taking excessive interest in funds and schemes of DRDAs rather than administering the districts, Seipu alleged, adding that the delay in the transfer of the responsibility of DRDAs from DCs to ADCs and Zilla Parishads has arrested development at the grass root levels of the districts in the State.
In the meantime, the meet also condemned the reluctant DCs stating that their act has deprived the rights and privilege of the beneficiaries and also adopted various resolutions which will be presented to the chief minister as and when he returns from his sojourn in Delhi, Seipu said, adding that if the government refused to respond positively and to complete the transfer of the functional power of DRDAs to the local bodies compliant with the Governor order, the joint group will launched unexpected forms of agitation in the future.
It may be recalled that to ensure grass root development of rural areas and remote hills, an order was released by the Governor of Manipur on November 18, 2010 in pursuant to the decision taken by a cabinet meet held on November 11, 2010, to transfer the DRDAs of the five hill districts to their respective ADC. Consequent upon this, the chairmanship of the five DRDAs will be vested in the chairman of the ADCs.
The order further said that a senior MCS officer shall be posted as the Executive Directors of DRDAs both in the hills and valley districts, the charge of which was earlier in charge by the DCs concerned.
With regard to DRDA of Senapti district, the chairmen of ADCs of Senapati and Kangpokpi shall be co-chairmen for the DRDA Senapati while in the four valley districts, Adhyakshas of Zilla Parishads will continue as chairmen of their respective DRDAs, it said.
 It is noteworthy here that the chairmanships of DRDAs had earlier been vested to the deputy collectors/commissioners of the districts before the order of the governor stated otherwise. Interestingly, some civil organizations are against the transfer order of the Governor and have been demanding for the order to be reverted back to the previous institution of DCs overseeing DRDAs.
For instance, All Tribal Students`™ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has been demanding for the revocation of the State cabinet decision of posting senior Manipur Civil Service officer as executive director of DRDA without due consultation with Hill Areas Committee of the State assembly. It has termed the cabinet decision as devoid of any `rationality and justification` and has demanded for reverting back to the earlier way wherein the concerned deputy commissioner of the district was the executive director as prescribed under the Central guidelines.

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