Guj Village Punsari Shows Potential Of Panchayati Raj

Guj Village Punsari Shows Potential Of Panchayati Raj

Villages in panchayats often make us think that there is something wrong in the system of local governance. But there are some villages which defy the stereotypes. Take the example of Punsari, a village located in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, at about 80 km from the state capital Gandhinagar. Even though the village is part of a panchayat, it has undergone a transformation, thanks to the adoption of new and advanced technologies in several spheres of human life. There is wi-fi connection for all people. Efforts have been made for the empowerment of women and increasing security in the village. Some of the facilities provided by the panchayat include local mineral water supply, sewer and drainage project, a healthcare centre, banking facilities and toll-free complaint reception service. That is the reason why Punsari received the award of being the best Gram Panchayat in Gujarat. The village’s model has been appreciated by delegates from Nairobi and they are keen to replicate this in Kenyan villages.

The population of Punsari was 5500 in 2011, which has risen to 6000 by June 2012.

There is a 66 KV sub-station that supplies power to the village. The sarpanch Himanshu Narendrabhai Patel said that Wi-Fi connectivity is provided in the entire village so that the villagers can use unlimited internet once they purchase the modem from the panchayat office.

The panchayat has made efforts to provide the best possible facilities to students. Air-conditioners and CCTV cameras are installed in the primary schools. Apart from schools, 25 CCTVs are installed at prime junctions of the village so that the litterbugs can be spotted and punished.

Mini-buses are used for transport purpose within the village. The panchayat has started a bus facility called the Atal Express for women which is used for the import of milk.

For communication purposes, 120 waterproof speakers have been installed, which are used by the sarpanch to inform the people of new schemes and to make important announcements. The speakers are also used to play bhajans, shlokas, and slogans of Mahatma Gandhi.

The total estimate of investment that has gone in to put in place the facilities and other infrastructure stood at Rs 15 crore. Both the state and Centre have also pitched in with support. For his efforts, the sarpanch was awarded with the best Gram Sabha award at the third National Panchayati Raj Day held at New Delhi. In November 2011, he received the best Gram Panchayat award in Gujarat from the then chief minister Narendra Modi. Other awards include the Academy of Grassroots Studies and Research of India award.