Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lok Satta manifesto promises Rs.1000 per capita grant at ward level

The Lok Satta Party is promising citizen-centric governance in its manifesto for the 2014 municipal elections.

In its election manifesto released by the Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today, the party points out that although people pay taxes and elect representatives to govern them, their living conditions in towns and cities continue to be deplorable. There is no guaranteed supply of safe drinking water. Sanitation is neglected. Roads remain pot-holed and streets, dark. Education and healthcare in Government-run institutions are not attended to. Corruption is all-pervasive.

The Lok Satta Party underscores that the sole reason for this state of affairs lies in centralization of power at the national and State capitals. Not even 25 percent of funds allocated for various schemes and programs percolate to citizens.

The party says the remedy lies in taking administration to the door-step of people. Thanks to an agitation by the Lok Satta, a law has been enacted providing for formation of ward committees. But it remains a dead letter with no steps having been taken to implement it.

The Lok Satta Party manifesto envisages formation of ward committees and an annual per capita grant of Rs.1000. As a result, a ward committee representing a population of 4000 will get a grant of Rs.2 crore in five years.

The ward committee will formulate a development plan, supervise maintenance of drinking water supply, sanitation, roads, lights, libraries, parks, playgrounds, schools, healthcare institutions and anganwadis. It will safeguard Government properties from encroachments. It will ensure that beneficiaries of Government schemes for housing, pensions, subsidies etc are chosen through areas sabhas. Ward committees will supervise implementation of all Government schemes at the ward level.

The Lok Satta Party promises institution of community policing to prevent thefts and robberies and atrocities against women at the ward level. It will unveil citizen’s charters under which civic bodies have to deliver time-bound services like approval of building plans, provision of water supply connections and issuance of certificates with provision for a penalty of Rs.200 per day as compensation to the aggrieved for delays. It will ensure that citizens have the right to information in municipal matters.

To prevent corruption, it will usher in transparency in all purchases, and ensure that payments to contractors are made only after thorough evaluation of works. It will enable people to watch municipal proceedings by providing for a public gallery in council halls.

The Lok Satta Party will also strive for amending laws to provide for recall of elected councillors/corporators.

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