The delay in starting a few irrigation projects in the state has put the Chhattisgarh government under the scanner for allegedly helping the industries in the state.

The opposition Congress party on Friday charged that the BJP government in Chhattisgarh was giving priority to the industries than the farmers when it came to give water from its resources. The issue came up during the Question Hour in the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly.

Visits to seven small towns in north India reveal how paucity of funds, slipshod planning and a dearth of capabilities have contributed to poor civic services and inadequate infrastructure. Citizens in some areas have organised themselves into neighbourhood committees to tackle problems that the urban bodies neglect, but this has its limitations and cannot substitute for efficient local government. The keys to tap the rich potential in these small towns are purposeful research, participative planning, responsive governance and healthy finances.