NCP chief Sharad Pawar stressed on the need for a policy to tackle issues arising due to the urbanisation of villages on Sunday. He was addressing a programme to celebrate 60 years of the Pune Zilla Parishad in Maharashtra and highlighted various issues faced by local bodies.
The 81-year-old former state chief minister also said though he never contested the Zilla Parishad election, he had been to a local body meeting just five days after birth, as his mother, who was then a local body member, had taken him along with her.
"There is a need for a policy to handle issues (arising) due to urbanisation of villages. The urbanisation is increasing pressure on local administrations which also face fund-related issues. The state government and the Centre should pay attention to this," said Pawar, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra.
The former Union minister also noted that the requirements of local bodies have increased. There was a limited need of water earlier but now local bodies are trying to provide water to every household, which is putting pressure on the system, he said. The demand for electricity is also increasing, and a crisis in this sector is going on in Maharashtra.
"When we had a meeting over this, some officials told us about gram panchayats not paying their electricity bills. When I checked, I found it was a fact," he said. Pawar also highlighted the people's demand for CBSE schools in villages.
Sharad Pawar said he recently got to know that 28 former ZP members from the state became MLAs, five became ministers and one also became a parliamentarian, while sharing an anecdote.
"I never worked in the ZP and never contested its election, but went to a local body meeting. My mother got elected to a local body in 1938 and she was its member till 1952. I was born on December 12, 1940 and five days after my birth, my mother took me to the local body meeting. Whether I was elected or not, I have been to a local body meeting," Pawar said.
(with inputs from PTI)