Punsari is a model village which has all the urban infrastructure facilities present in its rural environs. In this process, it hasn’t lost its rural characteristics like farming (agriculture) and high level of community participation. Punsari is a living example of the blend between technology and rural development, showcasing the way urban areas of the country can survive and thrive with balanced growth.
In a quest to become self reliant, the Punsari gram panchayat had spent around Rs 12-13 crore for the development of the village, using funds from government schemes and from the revenues from collecting taxes. The gram panchayat receives no financing from NRIs, NGOs and corporate CSR activities. The income of village is approx Rs 5.50-Rs 6 lakh, and its expenditure is approximately Rs12 lakh.
The gram panchayat also introduces a new scheme every year to motivate the villagers to pay advance tax by providing a token gift. This year, the villagers have been given a dustbin. The token kit also bears a particular number/identity assigned to a particular family, so that the panchayat has a record as to which kit is allocated to which family.
As far as infrastructure is concerned, this village can give urban centres a run for their money. The village is equipped with underground drainage system with three point outlets which get dumped in a landfill outside the village wherein all the waste gets absorbed into the soil.
Meanwhile, for waste collection, there’s a door-to-door collection system wherein a tractor trailer collects waste twice a day, i.e., morning & evening, from the village in order to collect the maximum amount of waste. The waste collected is made of 100 per cent plastic. There is proper sanitation in all houses — safety tank toilets are installed in every home. The village has
all-weather roads and block roads with a covered pucca drainage system.
That apart, a public announcement system has been installed at two places wherein announcements and other news are announced twice a day. For the safety of the denizens, 16 CCTV cameras and monitors linked with mobile applications have been installed at key locations in order to keep a close watch on daily activities, and around 40 people can view the same on their mobiles. CCTV cameras have also been installed in schools and health centres.
The village has a milk bank, an outpost police station, two banks, one gram hat, a post office, a community hall and 24x7 primary health centre, Talod railway station, block and CC road with Internal GIS & GPS system, etc.
Also, a mineral RO plant for clean water costing around Rs 5.50 lakh has been installed on a no-profit /no-loss basis. RO plants have also been installed in schools. The villagers can get a big bottle at a minimal cost of Rs 6-7 and for commercial purposes, these bottles are available at Rs 40. Around10 -12 families are associated with this activity and earn their livelihood by supplying the water bottles. The gram panchayat has also started an internal bus service after analysing one of the reasons of death of infants and pregnant women. The bus undertakes 11-12 trips per day and has four pickup stands connecting women with milk banks at a low fare of just Rs 3 per trip. This has helped in reductions in IMMR and IRMR rates. The villagers also use the local State Bank of India, which is also a money exchange bank, providing facilities of ATM cum debit card services for withdrawing cash.
The village is connected with Wi-Fi with unlimited access with 4 mbps speed, at a nominal rate of Rs 50. The villagers are using E-gram, social networking, latest farming trends, Mandi prices, online tax payment, mobile app, and the panchayat even sends the details of tax payment through the way2sms service. Some villagers are also buying products online through various e-commerce mediums. The gram panchayat also does online monitoring of other day-to-day activities of the villages.
The gram panchayat has developed a mechanism through which the villagers can pay their taxes online. This could be the only gram panchayat in the country to install a biometric attendance system for its employees. It has digitized all land records, which can be easily accessed. All these initiatives have paid off well as the gram panchayat has a Rs 75 lakh surplus fund against a net debt of Rs 10 lakh in 2006. What’s more? The village has its own website containing all the detailed activities and achievements of the village.