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No End To Tussle Over DRDA

IMPHAL, Feb 18: Continued concentration of administrative powers with Deputy Commissioners which otherwise should be vested with the Executive Directors of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) has thrown a spanner in district level development works.

Out of the nine districts of Manipur, respective DCs of Thoubal, Bishnupur and Chandel have devolved due administrative power to Executive Directors cum senior MCS officers of respective DRDAs.

However for Ukhrul, Churachandpur, Tamenglong, Senapati, Imphal East and Imphal West districts, the respective DCs have not yet made necessary steps to devolve power and are doubling themselves as the Executive Directors of DRDAs.

Notably, a Cabinet meeting held on November 3 last year resolved that senior MCS officers would be appointed as DRDA Executive Directors of all the districts after separating their functions and authority from Deputy Commissioners.

Subsequently, Additional Chief secretary (RD and PR) issued an order in this regard.

With regard to the failure to devolve power to DRDA Executive Directors in six districts, Chairmen of Autonomous District Councils and Adhyakshyas of Zilla Parishads held a meeting at Hotel Imphal here today.

Later speaking to media persons, Sadar Hills ADC Chairman Sh Seipu who presided over the meeting, said that District Rural Development Agencies were set up as autonomous bodies to enable development activities reach grassroots level in rural areas of Manipur.

However, Deputy Commissioners have been serving as DRDA Executive     Directors in six districts of Manipur thereby seriously impeding implementation of welfare programs in these districts.

On account of power being concentrated in the hands of DCs, welfare schemes like MGNREGS, Manipur Sectorial Development etc could not be properly implemented in these districts.

Defiance of Government order by the Deputy Commissioners is an act of challenging the constitution. The Government should take up befitting action against these DCs at the earliest otherwise agitation of various sorts may emerge, Seipu cautioned.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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