About two lakh panchayats would be brought under broadband facility by the end of 2014 under the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA) scheme, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj V Kishore Chandra Deo said on Saturday.
Out of a total of 2,46,000 panchayats in the country, 50,000 have already been brought under broadband facility, he told reporters at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KLA) near Mulamkunnathukavu in Thrissur.
The main objective of the Abhiyan, started in 2012, was to strengthen the Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs) and improve the infrastructure facilities, Deo added.
He stressed the need for strengthening the LSGIs as they implemented development projects of the Central and State Governments.
Deo said the state Governments should take into consideration the suggestions made at the gram sabhas before making plans for forwarding them to the Central Government.
He said Rs. 1500 crore had been allocated for development of the Panchayati Raj institutions in the budget of the current fiscal as against only Rs. 100 crore last year.
The infrastructure facilities in several panchayats of the country were very poor.Many panchayats have neither buildings nor offices to function, Deo said.
All panchayats in the country would be electrified during the 12th Five Year Plan and wherever electric power was not available, solar energy would be provided, Deo said.
The minister was in Thrissur to participate in a workshop on Panchayati Raj today for elected representatives of the southern states.