Hundreds of gram pradhans across Uttarakhand protested on Monday demanding implementation of guidelines of Panchayati Raj Act 2016 and enhanced pay and perks. In Dehradun, several hundred pradhans and their supporters from nearby villages gheraoed the secretariat, resulting in major traffic snarls and inconvenience to commuters.
The pradhans had first protested in July this year, voicing for their demands by giving a mass resignation at respective collectorates demanding more budget for gram sabhas. Previous year, for 459 gram panchayat funds worth Rs 4.33 crore was given but now it has been reduced to Rs 2.50 crore by the state government. Along with this they are also demanding a fixed salary of Rs 5,000 every month.
After a week-long protest in July, the state had assured the pradhans that there demands would be met but nothing has happened yet. Even today, no solution has been reached.
“We shall continue protesting until our demands are met. We met the minister but our demands are not accepted as of now so we will keep protesting. Government is misleading us and giving us repeated false assurance and now we won’t settle for any verbal assurance,” said Ritesh Joshi, general secretary, Pradhan Sangthan (Uttarakhand).