The special gram sabha, convened by the Mayem village panchayat to discuss the issue of imposing tax on new houses, had to be called off after an uproar, claiming it to be illegal.
The Mayem village panchayat had convened a special gram sabha to discuss the issue of imposing tax on the houses which were constructed by some people in the village panchayat area.
When the gram sabha began, some of the villagers demanded to know if this was the only topic to be discussed during the meeting. The villagers pointed that many of the people have constructed new houses in the VP area and some of them are outsiders. They also pointed that the panchayat has already given them water and electricity connections.
The villagers further demanded that the tax be imposed on only those houses which have been constructed by the people living in the village panchayat area and house number should not be allotted to others who do not belongs to the village of Mayem.
At this juncture the former panch member, Mr Sakaharam Pednekar, said that in the gram sabha held in January, a discussion was held on the same topic and Mr Ramesh Sawant had raised the issue and a resolution was also adopted over the same point. He therefore expressed surprise over why the panchayat had convened a special gram sabha over the same issue again.
“As per the rules, there is six months time limit given to take action on any matter which is discussed by the panchayat body in the previous meeting,” stated Mr Pednekar, and added that if a gram sabha is called after just two months to discuss the same point, then the meeting is illegal.
At this disclosure the villagers became furious and stated that they were unaware of the same. Some of the villagers demanded to know as to why they were called if the topic was already discussed during the last gram sabha. They also came down heavily on the panchayat secretary, Mr Manohar Gaonkar, who they claimed, was not guiding the panchayat body in a proper manner.
“The responsibility of the secretary is to guide the panchayat body over any matter which they are not aware of and it seem that he (secretary) is not doing the same,” said the former sarpanch, Mr Subhash Kinalkar.
Finally, the sarpanch, Ms Veena Chodankar, announced that the gram sabha has been called off and the decision about the house tax would be taken up during the panchayat body meeting. All the eleven panch members were present for the meeting. [NT]