KADAPA: Panchayats bear the brunt of the expenditure that is incurred on maintenance of secretariats. This is a big burden on panchayats, which are already facing financial problems. The state government is yet to release compensation to be given to unanimous panchayats.
Many sarpanches complain that it is difficult to fund the maintenance of the secretariats in a situation where street lighting, drinking water system and sanitation are in trouble. Sarpanches are having time supporting financially distressed people.
The Jagan Mohan Reddy government embarked on a secretariat system with the intention of taking the rule to the people. There are 633 village secretariats and 233 ward secretariats in the district. It is said that at least Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 is being spent for the maintenance of stationery, computers, printers, biometric machines, internet, sweeper, electricity and drinking water facilities in each secretariat. While the cost of their maintenance is borne by gram panchayats, the staff of the Secretariats in the non-funded Panchayats bear some of the cost of maintenance. Fees range from Rs 35 to Rs 500 per service. However, this amount is being deposited directly into the public treasury. The failure to allocate funds for their maintenance, even though they provide revenue through the secretariat, is leading to criticism. Costs on ward secretariats are met by municipalities.