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Sagar Setia: An IAS officer who revolutionized Rural Development in Punjab

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Fazilka, October 20, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
Sagar Setia, an IAS officer who had come to Fazilka to serve as Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) for a short stint, has set new record in Fazilka district during this tenure.

Mr Sagar Setia had taken over as ADC (Development) at Fazilka on May 5, 2021 and during his five month tenure in the district, despite of facing difficulties due to agitation of MGNREGA staff and his family commitments, his determination to implement the plans effectively has touched new horizons.

When he took charge at Fazilka, the district was generating an average of 1400 Employment per day under MGNREGA but he successfully increased it to 30,000 per day and now even after cotton picking has started, the figure is stable at 14 to 15,000.

The story of this success lies in the way the young and dynamic officer implemented the plans. Before setting goals, he studies the difficulties may encounter and hamper the work and then work with his team to achieve the goals with high spirits and enthusiasm.

Mr Sagar Setia said that while analysing the problems of MGNREGA, he found that the villages allotted to the Gram Rozgar Sewak and Technical Assistants were far away and it was not possible for them to go from one village to another for monitoring. So he reorganized groups of nearby villages and gave them work, similarly fixing Wednesday as the day on which panchayats can prepare and submit files.

Sagar Setia IAS BudhladaApart from this, They were also provided with technical guidance on the work to be done and the result was obvious. With these changes, this year, the target of 17 lakh employment days was achieved in the first 6 months as against the total target of 23 lakh in the district and if the work continues at the same pace then the target will be doubled by the end of the financial year. He said that there was no dearth of funds in MGNREGA, provided the schemes were properly formulated and implemented. So far, projects worth Rs 61 crore have been implemented against the annual target of Rs 86.25 crore, he added.

Similarly the grants released under Finance Commission which were often not spent properly due to non-compliance with the conditions of spending the grants laid by the Central Government, were also done by Mr Sagar Setia by imparting training to the Panchayat Secretaries related to prepare Development Plan from Village level to Zila Parishad as per the policy of the government so that maximum funds can be utilized. Under this scheme the village gets an annual grant of Rs 354 per head.

Mr Sagar Setia aways remained active in trying to find one and other source of development funds for the development of the villages. In the same way, under Swachh Bharat Mission Phase II, the government provides a grant of Rs 660 per person to the villages with a population of more than 5000 for managing liquid waste and Rs 280 for the population having less then 5000.

Similarly for disposal of solid waste, large villages get grant at the rate of Rs 45 and small villages at the rate of Rs 7 per resident. Mr Sagar Setia prepared a project for the grant to the villages and sent it to the Sanitation Department, which would transform the ponds of all the villages in the district with Thapar model. Under this a grant of Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned to the district for solid waste management while a grant of Rs 20 to 25 crore for cleanliness of ponds is expected to be received shortly.

Apart from this, he effectively implemented a number of projects in the district including construction of playgrounds in the villages. After completing his short stint in the district, he is now assuming his new post as Additional Commissioner of State Tax.

Basically his journey to Fazilka has been very memorable but he also lamented that he could not give much time to the sarpanches due to his passion for effective implementation of projects, although he wanted to give maximum information about the schemes so that our villages can become the most beautiful.

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