The state government has introduced a new scheme which will replace the now discarded legislators’ Local Area Development scheme. The new scheme, named Mukhya Mantri Chhetra Vikas Yojna (CM Local Area Development Scheme), will have a fat fund and take up developmental works on a bigger scale.
To begin with, the government has allocated Rs 664.58 crore in the fiscal 2011-12. It will cover all the districts but the individual budget of each district will vary. The allocation is larger than what it used to be when the fund was allotted in the name of local legislators. The previous budget for Local area Development scheme was Rs 318 crore for 243 MLAs and 75 MLCs at the rate of Rs 1 crore a year.
The provision for Rs 664.58 crore has been made in the state budget which was presented in the state legislature by deputy CM and finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday.
Now the legislators, who are free from carrying out the task of developmental works in their respective areas, will have the liberty to recommend schemes, but they will be selected by the district selection committee consisting of ministers in-charge and local legislators, with DM as secretary and district planning officer as convener.
On the recommendation of the selection committee, official sources said, work will be allotted to Local Area Engineering Organisation, the agency to undertake the work. The scheme is expected to be brought before the cabinet for approval shortly.
Bihar is the first state to scrap the legislators Local Area Development scheme. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in December last took the decision to discontinue with the scheme in an apparent bid to check corruption and embezzlement of funds.
“My decision is bearing positive result and has sent a good message across the country,” said Nitish. “Your life is no more being made a hell by the local people who either wanted schemes for their favourite places or allotment of works to them or their kin,” the CM told a gathering of legislators recently. “You can now breath easy and in public eye your dignity has gone up,” he added.
It is not known how many legislators buy this theory. But they will now have limited role in Local Area Development schemes. The CM had asked the planning and development department to work out a plan which ultimately helped accelerate developmental works and bridge the gap between rural and urban areas. The department will serve as a nodal agency and monitor implementation of the schemes, said planning and development department principal secretary Vijoy Prakash.
The first priority of the CM Local Area Development scheme will be construction of Panchayat Sarkar Bhavan in each panchayat, which will serve as panchayat secretariat, sources said. Other works to be taken up on a priority basis include construction of Anganwadi centres, godowns in panchayats and community centres, besides construction of minor roads, lanes and culverts
Source: The Times of India