Friday, May 1, 2009

Goa govt keeps sarpanchas on tight leash

The plush position of a Sarpanch may not be the desired seat in Goa for long, as the government of Goa has decided to act tough with sarpanchas and their deputies who are found to be incapable of discharging their duties and may therefore be unseated by the government under sub-section 4 of section 50 of the Goa panchayati Raj act.

The director of panchayats Mr Menino D'souza is known to have already issued 67 notices since mid September 2008, to various sarpanchas in Goa with due information that adverse observations have been reported against them regarding their failure in discharging their duties properly.

Under the above section of the act, a sarpanch or deputy sarpanch being "persistently remiss" in the discharge of his duties is liable to be removed from office by the director or deputy director of panchayats. However the sarpanch is given an opportunity to defend himself before any such order of removal is passed.

Under the act, when a panchayat fails to demolish illegal constructions which have been erected or reconstructed without the panchayats permission, or contrary to the rules made under the act or any condition imposed under the permission within a month, the deputy director shall assume the powers of the panchayat under subsection (3), (4) and (5) and take necessary measures to demolish the illegalities.

Also under section 66(2) the village panchayat has to issue a construction licence within 30 days of receiving an application. Failure to adhere to this would mean a "remiss of duties".

Some of the panchayats which have been issued the notices include Calangute, Candolim, Saligao, merces, Colvale, St Cruz, Colva, Majorda, Cansaulim, Loutolim

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