Gram sabha instructs panchayat to increase revenue collection instead of merely preparing deficit budget
MARGAO: The Benaulim gram sabha on Sunday approved a deficit budget of Rs 1,14,23,000 with the villagers making various suggestions and asking the panchayat to increase their revenue collection instead of merely preparing a deficit budget. It was also suggested that a dog shelter on the lines of a “cattle pound” be set up to deal with the menace of stray dogs.
One villager pointed out that the beach was full of stray dogs who are taken care of by the tourists. However, once the tourism season is over the dogs come into the villages and start attacking people and their animals, he cautioned.
Nilesh Prabhudessai a member of the panchayat said the stray dogs come to attack locals when they go for a walk on the beach while they tolerate and are friendly with the foreigners. “These dogs are very intelligent,” he said.
Royla Fernandes pointed out that the government has a scheme to have a shelter for stray dogs and said the panchayat should consider this and write to the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services to keep the stray dogs at a place where they can be neutred and also taken care of.
Royla while appreciating the ambulance service started by the MLA but wondered why the Benaulim panchayat has to pay for it and urged the panchayat to ask the other panchayats in the constituency to contribute something.
She pointed out that the Veterinary Services and Animal Husbandry Services were paying around Rs 35,000 for using one of the panchayat shops and suggested that the ambulance service should also pay some amount to the panchayat with the contributions coming from the other panchayats as the ambulance was for the entire constituency.
Another villager while urging the panchayat to be very vigilant about the sopo collection in the village alleged that there are some elements who are collecting money from the vendors in the village claiming to be authorised by the panchayat when in reality they have nothing to do with the panchayat.
It was also suggested that Rs 1000 be collected as security deposit from people booking the panchayat hall and that the money be forfeited if the user damages the hall or disfigures it by sticking tapes. It was also suggested to install an air conditioner in the hall and levy higher fees for its use.
Installation of CCTV cameras at certain places in the village was recommended particularly following the mugging incidents that have occurred continuously at one particular place in the village.
Garbage management appears to be a priority with the panchayat as it not only expects Rs 10 lakh as grants for garbage management, but also expects to earn Rs 1 lakh by selling garbage and also has provided Rs 5 lakh to install a baling machine. Besides, it has provided Rs 3 lakh for transporting garbage and Rs 25 lakh for construction of garbage yard.
The panchayat expects to get Rs 20 lakh from the 14th Finance Commission. While it hopes to collect Rs 40 lakh from house tax even though it collected only Rs 25.88 lakh during the last financial year, it expects to collect Rs 1 lakh as trade tax.
Interestingly, the panchayat expects to earn Rs 30 lakh by way of interest from bank deposits and Rs 8 lakh by way of market auction fee.
The panchayat has provided Rs 25 lakh for development of Dando ground and Rs 3.5 lakh each for cutting of bushes and opening/cleaning of drains. It has provided Rs 5 lakh for purchase of a four-wheeler and Rs 25,000 for maintenance of office vehicle. However, it was clarified that the panchayat has decided against purchasing the four-wheeler.