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Sambalpur Gram Panchayat

The Sambalpur Gram Panchayat of Odisha has a population of 5500 people. The Gram Panchayat has been active in taking initiatives for development in the areas of income generation, irrigation and agri produce marketing.

Developmental activities taken up

Four ponds in the village that were were on the verge of drying up were restored by the gram panchayat. The ponds were rented out - one each, to the Fisherman Cooperative, Jai Ganga Maiya Vikas Samiti and Danteshwari Self-Help Group. This had resulted in the Gram Panchayat getting an annual income of Rs 25,000 and became a good source of livelihood for the fishermen as well.

Earlier, only 10% of the villagers used to pay taxes to the panchayat. But after the panchayat explained to the villagers on the benefits of the paying taxes, people have started paying their taxes for the betterment of the village and its economic development. The Panchayat now receives regular taxes from 90% of the people. The tax collected  during the year 2012-13 amounted to a total sum of Rs 12,51,479.

The tax collected was utilised to construct a community complex with 23 shops which was given on rent/lease at the rate of Rs 400-600 per month. This resulted in the Gram Panchayat getting an annual income of Rs 1,29,000.

The Gram Panchayat had also taken the initiative to start weekly markets and annual fairs in the village where the shops were given on rent/lease, this had resulted in the gram panchayat getting an annual income of Rs 3 lakh.

In the office of the Sambalpur Gram Panchayat, 15 chairs were to be brought, for which a notice was put up on the notice board of the office and at various other places in the village through which people were invited to send their price proposals and the person who offered the least price was given the contract. Bid opening was transparent, and conducted in the presence of people.

Lessons to learn

Sambalpur Gram Panchayat had shown smartness in their approach towards implementing a new developmental model in the village which can be sustained due to inflow of regular income. The gram panchayat made various efforts to mobilise their own resources and funds which had given them a sense of confidence and a new direction to their working. The model has a great replicability quotient.

Source: Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana



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