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HOW THE MAGISTRATE GOES ABOUT HIS JOB
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Birbhum district comprises three sub-divisions and 19 blocks covering an area of 4,545-sq km with 30.13 lakh population (as per Census 2001) in which the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population constitutes 30.68 and 6.95 per cent respectively. The percentage of literacy is 52 per cent of the total population (male 31 per cent, female 21 per cent).

The district magistrate is head of the district administration and functions in co-ordination with other district level officers...responsible for performance in their respective fields. Performance of the Birbhum district administration during 1996-2001 was reviewed in March-April 2001 through test-check of records of the offices of the DM, chief medical officer of health, deputy CMOH-III, district inspector of schools (Primary and Secondary), project officer-district welfare officer, ST and tribes welfare and district rural development council...

Plan funds received and utilized by various district officers during the years 1996-2001, were as under: the various wings of district administration failed to utilize 31.45 per cent of the funds given to them during 1996-2001. Of the unspent balance, Rs 28.09 crore were lying in PL Account, LF Account and savings bank account of different district officers.

DM is the overall in-charge of the district administration. He directly looks after the works of treasury, executive magistrateís court, judicial, general, development and planning, election, land and land reforms, granting licence, motor vehicles, excise, revenue munshikhana and so on. These functions are done with the help of 794 officials (officers and staff) in the district headquarters, sub-divisional officers with their staff in the sub-divisions and block development officers with their staff in the block level. Four officers were posted as DM during 1996-2001. The average period of tenure was 2 to 3 years.

In addition, the DMís functions are [as the] CEO of zilla parishad, vice-chairman of district rural development agency, secretary of the district planning committee, chairman of regional transport authority, district welfare committee for SC and ST, national child labour project, vice-president of the zilla sarbic saksharata prosar samiti, chief project manager of state health system development project-II and member of three members committee consisting of DM, superintendent of police and district judge to monitor the maintenance and control of law and order problem. Information regarding the number of committee meetings attended by the DM were not furnished though called for.

During the period, 1996-2001, the DM handled funds of Rs 73.08 crore (Rs 54.21 crore for different schemes and Rs 18.87 crore for meeting establishment cost) through his executives for implementing different schemes and running the establishments. The schemes were implemented through zilla parishads, panchayat samitis, public works department, PWD (roads), public health engineering and urban local bodies. These funds were drawn from the treasury by the senior deputy collector and Nezarath deputy collector and disbursements were made by the NDC.

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