High Court Directs Govt To Include Public Representatives In Nabin Odisha Project Selection

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to include local public representatives in the shortlisting and finalisation of projects under the Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha programme.

The High Court, however, declined to intervene in matters relating to the implementation of the projects under the scheme.

The HC issued the order while hearing a petition which alleged that the Odisha government is ignoring local public representatives in the implementation of Nabin Odisha programme.

The petition had raised the issue of government officials selecting and shortlisting projects to be developed under Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha programme ignoring the public representatives like Sarpanchs.

The act by the government defeated the primary objective of the Gram Panchayat law and the Constitution of India, counsel for the petitioner Pitambar Acharya said.

The Court held that it is necessary to include elected public representatives like Sarpanches in the Nabin Odisha programme and select the projects with their cooperation, because the developmental projects are meant for Gram panchayats and villages, he said.

It may be noted here that the three-tier Panchayati Raj law was introduced to develop the grass roots of the nation so that the country can be developed as a whole. Under the law, the Sarpanch was vested with some powers which they can exercise towards the development of the respective panchayats.

However, following the introduction of the Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha programme in July 2023, it has been alleged by the opposition that local public representatives are being ignored by the district officials including the Collector and BDO to select the projects to take up under it.

Every panchayat is allocated a sum of Rs 50 lakh to carry out several development works under the programme. As per the guidelines, the development works to be executed under ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ are being done by any department engaged by the government or any agency engaged by the BDO or the District Collector.

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