ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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been cheaper to have a cistern providing water from the hill streams (p 34).
The author gives a detailed analysis of the financial position and income and expenditure pattern of the gram pan- chayats in these two blocks. In Narayan- patna the panchayats' income was miserably low and so were the grants from the government for development because "most of the schemes were executed directly by the authorities of the block" and only "a few were entrusted to the panchayats for execution" (p 22). This defeats the very purpose of local self-government. On the other hand, Runiban, being a special multipurpose tribal block, received more liberal grants. According to the author, the spread of Panchayati Raj in Ruruban has helped in weakening the political power of the feudal chiefs and the caste Hindus. It has made the tribals politically and socially conscious and has encouraged them to participate in political and social activities (p 77). Road development has also helped in increasing political and economic activity among the tribals of Ruruban, where school attendance has also increased significantly (p 95). On the other hand, Narayanpatna continues to experience a political vacuum "mainly because of the inaccessibility of these areas" (p 110).

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