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Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004

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PURA scheme

This is with reference to "Vision 2020: PURA by Partnership" (Business Line, February 9). As rightly pointed out in the article, the District Collector is already over burdened with both regulatory and developmental functions and the proposed entrustment of PURA Scheme to the District Collector for administration is not desirable.

Decades ago, Ramsay Mac Donald likened the District Collector to a tortoise on whose back stood the elephant of the Government of India. Unfortunately, the same holds true today too and status quo continues.

Since PURA is mainly a rural development scheme, the Panchayat Raj institutions should be given a major role to play in the implementation of the scheme.

A forum comprising State Government representatives, urban local body representatives and the village panchayat members should be set up.

Such a forum will help in the establishment of a new partnership between the urban local bodies and rural panchayats under the guidance of the State Governments. One hopes that the PURA is transformed into a people's movement.

C. Ramesh

Keeramangalam (TN)

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