Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao on Thursday read out the riot act to newly-elected sarpanches and ZPTCs and MPTCs, stating that unless they perform, no one can save them.

“Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao will embark on surprise visits to Gram Panchayats in the State during the month of March to review the progress of works undertaken by the newly elected sarpanches under Palle Pragathi programme,” he said, adding that the government will not hesitate to take punitive action against under-performers under the new Panchayat Act.

The word of caution came from the Minister during his address to sarpanches, ZPTCs and MPTCs of Rajanna Sircilla district in Sircilla. “The Chief Minister is very keen on making the villages clean and green. So, be ready for surprise checks by the Chief Minister from March once the Pattana Pragathi programme is over. He will visit any place of his choice. If you have any problems, let us know so that we can sort it out. If we can’t, then we will go to the Chief Minister and seek his help,” he said.

Rama Rao said that with the State government taking care of irrigation and drinking water needs, electricity, housing and a plethora of welfare schemes, it was the duty of the sarpanches to complete construction of Vaikunta Dhamams, dumping yards, soak-pits and planting of trees on a war-footing. “No additional funds will be released and no petition will be received by the government till there is visible difference in the villages,” he said.

“The new Panchayat Raj Act is so tough that no one can save you if you won’t perform. So stay in the village and perform. During the surprise checks, we will also check whether it is the elected member who is taking care of the business or his or her relative,” he said, cautioning them that in absentia management will not be tolerated henceforth. “Those who perform do not have to worry about anything,” he added.

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