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DRDA Merges With ZP

Bhubaneswar: The Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water (PR&DW) Department has notified merger of functions and offices of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) with Zilla Parishads and abolition of DRDAs in the State.

Ashok Kumar Meena, Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water has brought out the notification.

The State Government has been laying emphasis to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the State and have taken several steps for empowerment and transformation of the PRIs.

The matter relating to merger of DRDAs in Districts with respective Zilla Parishads of Odisha was under active consideration of the State Government for some time.

The DRDAs of Districts are agencies registered under Societies Act,1860, whose main function is to implement and monitor different development schemes in districts.

Similarly, PRIs, the institutions of self-governance, must be empowered enough and be directly involved in implementation, monitoring and supervision of various development schemes as well as execution of different public welfare decisions of the State Government, PR&DW Principal Secretary Mr.Meena said in the notification.

Zilla Parishad is the apex tier of Panchayati Raj System at district-level and needs to be entrusted with all the functions of DRDAs in order to enable it to plan and implement the schemes for poverty-alleviation, overall economic development and social justice.

As a further step forward to strengthen the local governance in Odisha and in pursuance to recommendations of 4th State Finance Commission (SFC) as per the mandate of the 73rd Amendment of Constitution, the State Government have now been pleased to decide to merge the functions and Office of DRDAs with respective Zilla Parishads in districts and abolish the present structure of DRDAs with immediate effect, he said.

The Department has fixed principles and modalities for functioning of the Zilla Parishads after merger with the DRDAs.

All the existing officers and employees holding duty posts in the district on a regular basis will be the employees of the Zilla Parishads. All the existing posts in DRDAs, excluding the posts specifically decided to be abolished, will be deemed to have been created for the Zilla Parishads with effect from the date of merger.

The salaries and non-salaries of all the regular employees of Zilla Parishads after merger of DRDAs will be met out of a single Demand Head of Zilla Parishad.

The 30 posts of Assistant PD (Finance), 30 posts of Asst. PD (Skill Development)-cum-Project Executive (CB), 30 posts of Asst. PD (RH), 30 posts of Asst. PD (Livelihoods)-cum-Project Executive (Micro Finance) and 30 posts of Programme Officers in the present DRDA structure will be abolished.

Instead, 150 posts of Programme Manager, including 30 posts of Programme Manager (Finance) and 30 posts of Programme Manager IT are to be created.

The posts of Programme Managers to be created in Zilla Parishad after the merger. The vacancies in these posts arising after merger will be filled up by direct recruitment through Odisha Staff Selection Commission.

Similarly, seven posts namely Senior Programme Manager (Finance) will also be created in Zilla Parishad (after merger) in order to absorb seven regular Asst. PD (Finance) presently working in different DRDAs.

The incumbents holding the post of regular Programme Officer in DRDAs will be absorbed in the post of Programme Manager. The Director, Panchayati Raj, is the appointing authority as well as disciplinary authority and the principal.

The Ministerial posts of Section Officer, Personal Assistant, Sr. Stenographer, Sr. Assistant, Jr. Stenographer, Jr. Assistant, Jr. Accountants will constitute District Cadre in Zilla Parishad and their service will be guided by the Cadre rules/ guidelines to be framed by PR&DW Department, as per the modalities.

The services/ works relating to the post of Driver and Group-D posts such as Peon, Sweeper-cum-Chowkidar shall be managed by outsourcing basis only with prior approval of the Department, it said.

Cadre Rule for the employees of Zilla Parishad will be framed and enacted by the PR & DW Department as per the Zilla Parishad Act, 1991 incorporating relevant decisions of the Government.

The Collector-cum-CEO and the Chief Development Officer-cum-Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad will exercise the same executive/financial power as is being exercised by them in the capacity of the CEO and the Project Director of DRDAs, respectively.

The central assistance received towards salary and non-salary of the employees of the DRDAs shall be utilized for payment of salary and non-salary of employees of DRDAs absorbed in Zilla Parishads.