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 OJPS  Vol.10 No.3 , July 2020
Service Accountability and Social Well-Being of the Rural Community in Local Government Institutions in Sri Lanka—Special Reference to Selected Pradeshiya Saba
Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to explore, existing nature of the local government sector with regard service delivering and social wellbeing of the grass root community who live in country side. Local government institutions are key stone of the social and economic development of the given country. Sri Lanka has a long historical evaluation process regarding local government institutions. As a modern local government institution that Pradeshiya Saba was established in 1987 at the grass root level with regard rapid acceleration of the social and economic development of the rural community, it has given enough power, authority and privileges with regard decision making regarding social and economic development of the grass root people. Yet, after thirty years period, there is not shown sufficient improvement of the social and economic life of the people who are living in Pradeshiya Saba which is located countryside. This trend has to be investigated through applying suitable methodology including suitable techniques. Specially, reasons for existing nature of Pradeshiya Saba should be examined by investigation of the performance of the role of local authorities. Therefore, qualitative approach such as questioners and field interviewers and discussions has been used for the gathering information’s in this regard. There are eight Pradeshiya Saba institutions which have been selected for the carried-out field activities in this research. Final output of the research has been indicating that weak performance of the existing Pradeshiya Saba on their service delivering has been crucially impacted on social and economic wellbeing of the grass root people. Inefficiency and weak attitudes and commitment of the elective people and officers of the Pradeshiya Saba have been negatively impact on performances of the Pradeshiya Sabah in peripherals society. Final output of this research is significant regarding readjustment of performance of the elective members and officials and implementations mechanism with regard role and activities of the existing local government institutions. Also, final result of this research has been opened a new path for initiate research activities for the researchers who have desire to start research in same area.

1. Introduction

Local government institution is primary and key political and decision-making body of the political system of the given country with regard enhancement of social well-being of the grass root community. It is maintaining a crucial role regarding to provide the essential requirements of the general public at the grass root. Sri Lankan experience on local government is going back to long historical time line. Evolution of the institutional system was most dynamic and vibrant time line up to modern day. However, most formal and democratic shape of institutional system was laid down in 80 decades since their political independence. Pradeshiya Saba (prevailing) institutional system was marked notable bench mark in this regard. It was established in 1987 under the parliament Act. The main objective of this establishment was to supply services for the general public which base on their aspirations at the ground level. As a primary democratic institution that people could enjoy their voting rights regarding nominating suitable people for the institutions as their representatives for claim sound service on their social, economic and political necessities, reality of the ground situation was demonstrated worst picture at the time of establishment of Pradeshiya Saba. People of the grass root have been suffering many problems in their day to day life. Mainly, they have been suffering basic requirements such as drinking water, infrastructure facilities, sanitary, health facilities ext. There are more than 272 institutions have been established in entire country to achieve this goal and objective. Most of those institutions have been established in remote area. Upgrading people well-being at the ground society is the main responsibility and duty of the local government institutions through providing sound service on people aspirations. After three decades period after establishment of Pradeshiya Saba that prevailed the social, economic and the political conditions of the people has not demonstrated significant enhancement of accountable service delivering by the local institutions. This research has been focused most essential service which has to be provided by the local institutions. Research has been carried out in selected local government institutions within ten administrative districts.

2. Research Problem or Statement

There are more than 272 institutions have been established in entire country to achieve social well-being of the ordinary people at the grass root. Most of those institutions have been established in remote area. Upgrading people well – being at the ground society is the main responsibility and duty of the local government institutions through providing sound service on people aspirations. After three decades period that establishment of Pradeshiya Saba, prevailing condition of the social, economic and political conditions of the people who live in grass root have not demonstrating significant enhancement on accountable service which delivering by the local institutions, Why?

3. Main Objective

The main objective of this research paper is to explore the main facts and reasons behind the declining or back warding nature of the social well being of the people who are living in the grass root locality in Sri Lanka.

4. Literature Survey

According to Sir Ivor Jennings, has defined Local Government may have a wide variety of meanings. Since it is “government” the system of local government which a country adopts must governmental or constitutional structure. Since it is “local” it relates to specific portions of the country defined by locality (Jennings, 1965). The service is responsible for the public administration of the government of a country. It excludes the legislative, judicial, and military branches. Members of the public service have no official political allegiance and are not generally affected by changes of governments British equivalent civil service” (British Dictionary definitions for public service). A public service is something such as health care, transport, or the removal of waste which is organized by the government or an official body in order to benefit all the people in a particular society or community. ⇒ the money is used by local authorities to pay for public services. ⇒ a strike by public service workers. Public participation is one of the main requirements for maintain and stain of the democratic accountability. Better and strong monitoring process will have with regard functions and decisions of the public institutions such as local government. Officials about what the citizenry thinks of their performance and policies, but. It enables researchers and scholars to make continue assessment citizen’s attitudes which constitute one of the structural conditions for democratic sustainability (Habib & Zurawicki, 2002). Conceptual meaning and practices of democracy and governance has been changed gradually. In today we are talking about modern democratic principles in term liberal Democracy. That also depends on the time occasion and context and understanding of the scholars or general mass. But, when we talk about modern democracy and practices in term governance that basic principle of the liberal democracy cannot be ignored.

Many scholars have given theoretical and conceptual arguments in his regard. A convergence of activity among scholars and decision makers from a wide range of policy sectors appears to be taking hold of the public participation agenda. Where much previous attention has been given to normative discussions of the merits of, and con-conceptual frameworks for, public involvement, current activity seems largely focused on efforts to design more informed, effective and legitimate public participation processes with a storm evaluation component. Whether the decisions fall into the environmental, biotechnology or local government sphere, policy makers, regulators, experts and public advocacy groups agree on the importance of involving the citizenry in the decisions that affect them but are grappling with how best to do this (Rowe & Frewer; 2000; Beierle & Konisky; 2000; Graham & Phillips; 1998; Pratchett; 1999a; Simrell King; 1998; Hirtle, & Fortin; 1998). An additional motivation is the belief that more effective public participation techniques might foster, or even act as a substitute for, social capital, seen as necessary for improving governance (broadly and in the health system) and manifested through collaborative problem solving among citizens in communities and organizations (Putnam, 1993; Veenstra & Lomas, 1999). Widespread calls for increased civic participation, capacity-building and the creation of social capital are the proposed antidote to the rise of individualism of the 1980s and view a re-created community as the cornerstone to improvements in social and economic conditions (Putnam, 1993; Sandel, 1996; Bellah, 1985). An active, engaged citizen (rather than the passive recipient of information) is the prescription of the day. This current trend has emerged, in part, from the neo-liberal consumerist and customer-centered public sector management philosophy that has dominated the 1980s and 1990s and from a governance philosophy that fosters reciprocal obligations between citizens and governments and emphasizes participation for collective rather than individual purposes (Graham & Phillips, 1998; Pratchett, 1999b; O’Hara & Frazier, 1998). The requirement to select a small group of ‘‘representative participants’’ subjects deliberative processes to critics who will dismiss their outcomes as unrepresentative (Guttmann & Thompson, 1996). According to Kitschelt, Accountability is not limited to the realm of democracy or even that of politics more generally, but designates an evaluation of an actor’s performance in some domain of social organization relative to some specified standard (or rules) that may or may not then result in consequences (Kitschelt & Kselman, 2011). Keohane writes; “An accountability relationship is one in which an individual, group or other entity makes demands on an agent to report on his or her activities, and has the ability of imposing costs on the agent. “A is accountable with respect to M when some individual, body or institution, Y, can require A to inform and explain/justify his or her conduct with respect to “Delimiting Democratic Accountability.” Political Studies (Philip; 2009, Philip, Mark; 2009). Local government has been described as “big business “With the exception of Northern Ireland, local authorities in the United Kingdom are responsible for education, housing, personal services, transport, planning, fire and rescue services, policing, libraries and museums, leisure and recreation, waste services, consumer protection and environmental health (McManus 2020). Local government is praised for its ability to provide representative, responsible and accountable government, virtues most closely associated with British writers ( Mill, 1931; Wilson, 1948; Rust, Jones, & Kaiser, 2014). Another claim made for local government, again widely found in the British literature and echoed in some North American and Scandinavian writing lies in the value of elected local government as an efficient level of government (Sharpe, 1970).

5. Area and Population Sample of the Survey (Field Map)

This research is completely depending on Sri Lankan case study related local government institutions of the grass root. Therefore, research had been selected eight (8) grass root local governance institutions for the carry out the field activities. Figure 1 clearly mentioned about area of carried out the research. Hambantota, Pradeshiya Sabha, Gogakawela-Rakwana Pradeshiya Sabha, Ruwanwalla Pradeshiya Sabha, Dimbulagala Pradeshiya Sabha, Madawachchiya Pradeshiya Sabha, Thambalagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Uhana Pradeshiya Saba, and Laggala Pallegama Pradeshiya were selected for the field activities. All those local government institutions are selected from 08 provinces of out of total 09 provinces. Also, it has covered 08 administrative districts of the country.

6. Research Methodology & Method of Analysis

Most researchers have at least one methodological technique they feel most comfortable using, which often becomes their favorite or only approach to research. This might be why many previous qualitative research texts presented only a single research tec1mology (participant observation, interviewing, or unobtrusive measures). Further, many researchers perceive their research method as a theoretical tool (Denzin; 1978). There is a bit difference in between both

Figure 1. Area and population sample of the survey (Field map).

quantitative and qualitative methodology. In this research, research problem and hypothetical prediction is mainly depending on both qualitative as well as quantitative approach. Therefore, mixed method has been used for data gathering in this regard. Basically, in addition to quantitative methodology that main theory of qualitative approach has been used for analyzing data in this research. Therefore, this research is based on deductive rather than inductive approach. Researchers following this orientation often have conducted various sorts of field or case study activities to gather data. In order to accomplish data collection, they have necessarily spent considerable time in a given community, or with a given assortment of individuals in the field they have participated, indirectly or directly, with many of the individuals residing in or interacting with the study population. This provides the researcher with a special perspective on the material collected during the research, as well as a special understanding of the participants and how these individuals interpret their social worlds (Berg; 2001). The main theories of inductive approach have been used as tools for analyzing data. Following theory mainly focused on in this research, specially, main techniques of the empirical research such as in-depth interviews, field observations, questioners’ fillings and group discussions has been taken place in this research. As an empirical research, this research has been used main qualitative techniques such as keep recording, coding, note keeping etc. In addition to that, field observation its input also used for the analysis of the data and information. Qualitative data analysis (QDA) is the process of turning written data such as interview and field notes into findings. There are no formulas, recipes or rules for this process, for which you will need skills, knowledge, experience, insight and a willingness to keep learning and working at it. Taking notes from focus group discussions (FGDs) are quite “messy” and unstructured. QDA does not happen in a linear way; it is not a neat and simple process. Rather, it involves a repeated process of critically reading, interpreting and reaching shared understandings of your data, as shown below,

There are different techniques had been used for the gathering data and information. At the analysis part that statistical data which based on questioner survey through SPSS had been analyzed with combination of other data and information such as recorded notes keeping, field observational reports, Qualitative data such as in-depth interviews and groups discussions had combined with triangularization method in this different source of data analysis. Different kind of sources has been taken as data and information for an analysis. It is triangular relationship has been generated between public service delivering, state and society and democratic accountability of local government and governance in Sri Lanka. Finally, it, has critically and descriptively analyzed in this research.

7. Main Role of Accountability and Responsibility of the Pradeshiya Saba

Local government system of Sri Lanka has a long historical time line with difference experiences. But, it was most significantly tracked in post-independence period. As mention earlier in this thesis it has dynamic evaluation process on service delivering and democratic enhancement at the grass root politics and administration. Establishment of Pradeshiya Saba was a turning point of the time line of local government history. It was a most democratic designed in modern local government system in the world. Basically, social development and people wellbeing as well as democratic enhancement was a main focused area of the global local government system in 21 centuries.

Rapid social and economic development of the peripheral societies through people participation in to decision making process was one of the main objectives of the modern local government establishment. In according to that Pradeshiya Saba was establishing with keeping various expectations of the local administration and governance in Sri Lanka. Mainly, enhancement of public utility and social welfare as well as promote of the democratic practices and elaborate a democratic culture at the grass root was main given targets of the modern Pradeshiya Saba system in Sri Lanka. It was established through the parliament passing Pradeshiya Saba Act No. 15 1987. All the decision making, implementations power, authorities and functions and activities have been legally given through this Act. Finally, securing and sustain of the system and achieving of the targets and objectives on given powers and responsibilities were main responsibilities behalf of the parliament and general public of the country.

After 30 years of establishment of these local government units (Pradeshiya Saba) that scientific follow up have to be done for the assess duty and functions of these institutions’ behalf of the ordinary mass at the grass root. Establishment of Pradeshiya Saba was a result of modernization of democracy in local democratic process. Every Local unit will be given representatives through democratic electoral process. Therefore, finally those who appointed for the local government units by the general mass, they must be responsible on their duty and responsibility with regard enhancement of social well-being and democratic enhancement of their electorate. The main purpose of establishment of Pradeshiya Saba is to elaborate and rapidly enhance of the people participation of the development process and rapid development of the social wellbeing of people who are living in peripheral society through giving enough power and authority at the grass root in the country side.

Preamble of the constitutions of the Pradeshiya Saba has said, an act to provide for the establishment of Pradeshiya Saba with a view to provide greater opportunities for the people to participate effectively in decision making process relation to administration and development activities at a local level;(Pradeshiya Saba Act 1987). According to the constitution that it is clear that the main purpose of the Pradeshiya Saba is to promote people wellbeing and social development at the grass root society. That is unavoidable duty and responsibility which has confirmed through Pradeshiya Saba Act 1987.

Article 2 of the Act of Pradeshiya Saba has mention, The Pradeshiya Saba constituted for each Pradeshiya Saba area shall be the local authority within such area and be charged with the regulation, control and implementation of all matters relating to public health, public utility services and public thoroughfares and generally with the protection and promotion of the comfort, convenience and welfare of the people and all amenities with in such area (Pradeshiya Saba Act 198). It is main duty and responsibilities of each local government institution regarding social wellbeing of the people who are living in rural society.

Mainly, activities related public utilities are main functions of the Local government institutions. Under the constitutional provisions each and every local government institution have legally bind to be carry out their subjects which are directly impact on people life. Article 22 of the Pradeshiya Saba Act has mention, subject to the powers and responsibilities by law belonging to any other authority, it shall be the duty of the Pradeshiya Saba and every such Pradeshiya Saba is hereby empowered, to take all necessary measures for securing and maintaining all public rights, interests, and amenities arising out of or in connection with, all through fares or upon spaces within its area and for utilizing, regulating, adopting, and developing such thoroughfares or open spaces for public purpose (Pradeshiya Saba Act 1987). After 30 years period looking back of the existing local government system is main purpose of this research. Therefore, this research mainly focused number of services areas which has allocated for the local government bodies via Pradeshiya Saba Act. Following subjects’ areas directly involved with the functions of the Pradeshiya Saba with regard carry out social development and well-being of the people of the grass root. Main utility services such as garbage collection, Maintain and sustain rural roads, Street Lamps, sanitary facilities, water supply, maternity and child care under the health service, maintain and sustain of the Public markets, public parks, and public library, cultural and entertainments facilities for the child and elders are the main subjects belong to Pradeshiya Saba which has allocated under the Pradeshiya Saba Act No 15 1987. The principle activities of these types of local authorities can be classified in to three broad functional areas,

1) Public health and environmental sanitation

2) Public thoroughfares

3) Public utility services including the provision of civic amenities

These have the basic objective of “promoting the welfare and comfort of the citizens” through service provided. The Pradeshiya Sabah’s established in 1987 have a broader development mandate, viz, “Provide opportunities for the people to participate effectively in decision making process relating to the administrative and development activities at the local level” (Gunawardane; 2003). After 30 years period there are no any criteria or assessment mechanism with regard evaluation of service delivering of the Pradeshiya Saba on rural community. As democratic institutions, these local government bodies must be accountable for the general public on their services delivering and democratic practices. This research mainly has focused two section of the Pradeshiya Saba.

1) Service delivering by the local government institutions in peripheral societies.

2) Democratic practices of the local government institutions

Field survey has been covered above two section of the Pradeshiya Saba. Field activities were conducted within 08 Pradeshiya Saba which has selected randomly from the 08 administrative provinces. Under the section one, research mainly targeted following key services delivering by the Pradeshiya Saba:

1) Garbage collection

2) Construction and maintain rural roads

3) Maintain and sustain streets lamps

4) Health services

Research has been covered 08 local government units in the peripheral society. Data gathering process has been carried out among those Local Government units on above specific subjects. Five family units have been selected from each Grama Nildari division (GN Division, most lowly administrative unit in the country). There are 05 Grama Nildari division has selected for each local government area. Therefore, altogether 25 family units subjected to each local government area. In addition to that, different kind of interviews series has been conducted. Specially, people who are represent from different age and social groups such as religious leaders, civil society activists, ruling and oppositions elected members of the relevant Local government Institutions, traders, elites, were interviewed for this research. Data has analyzed step by step on given priority subjects in each local government unit. Basically, SPSS software analysis has been used for the data analysis. Those data have critically and descriptively analyzed.

8. Nature of the Service Delivering with Regard Social and Economic Well-Being of the People (Just Only Approach to This Section)

Existing nature of the service delivering process of Pradeshiya Saba has been questionable matter in peripheral governance in the country. There are various kind of subjects have been delegated for the Pradeshiya Saba via Act of 1987. This research has been focused only selected subjects which is most important and significant for the social life of the grass root people.

8.1. Cleanings and Proper Methods of Garbage’s Collection in Selected Local Government Divisions

Keep in clean environment without garbage’s is one of the significant objectives of the local government institutions in Sri Lanka. It has emphasized in local government act in 1987. Therefore, Pradeshiya Saba has an important responsibility with regard clean of the garbage’s in their local government area. In this research, there are following local government division has been investigated regarding above matter and its progress. Following data shows reality of the role of the Pradeshiya Saba with regard garbage collections above areas.

Table 1 demonstrates the cleaning of the environment. Cleaning of the environment is an essential duty of the Pradeshiya Saba (Local Government institutions). This data shows actual picture of those local divisions in this regard. Most of people are throwing their garbage’s in their home garden due to unavailability of proper method. Specially, sub urban areas like Hambantota and Dimbulagala local divisions are located in sub urban areas have emphasized. People are using their own garden for the throwing and destroying of the garbage. It has indicated 100% out of total valid data that people are utilizing their garden for the garbage’s purpose. Local division such as Uhana, as a sub urban division has been indicating only 66.7% availability of the local government service for the garbage’s collection by the Local Government Institutions. By 33.3% of out of total valid data reflecting that people are using their own sources in same area. Gogakawela division has been indicating by 9.1% of out of total valid data on the public place which has provided by the local authority. It is in Madawachchiya has been reflecting by 33.3% from out of total valid data. There are no any service had provided for the garbage collection by the local authority in Dimbulagala Pradeshiya Saba. Ruwanwalla Pradeshiya Saba has been provided garbage

Table 1. Nature of garbage clearing & collections methods in Pradeshiya Saba divisions.

Source: Data table of field survey 2016.

collection facilities by 23.8% from out of total valid data. This Pradeshiya Saba also categorically acts as a sub urban division.

Therefore, whole picture of the service on garbage collection by the relevant local authorities are showing inadequate nature. While, high percentage indication has been emphasized in most rural divisions with regard service on garbage collection by the local division such as Laggala Pallegama and Gogakawela. It can be justifying because there are more lands belongs to people in such areas. People can destroy their garbage’s in their own lands but situation of other sub urban areas is not the same as this area. Therefore, nature of other areas cannot be justified on this matter. In accordance to liability that Pradeshiya Saba has to be carried out garbage collection process properly. But, given picture in this regard by the data were not shown smooth function. On the other hand, there has been indicating other methods such as which people are throwing garbage’s to outside without formality. Thambalagamuwa has been indicated 40% of out of total data that people are using other methods. People are using road side, jungle and abandoned lands for throwing garbage’s. This trend has been created many an issue in some local government divisions. Specially, it has caused to create some threating environment on the public health of people above areas.

In properly, most of Pradeshiya Saba doesn’t have a formal system with regard waste or destroy of the garbage’s. Still, there are no new technology and methods reached to rural areas. Some time, local government institutions have been using abandoned jungle areas for throwing or disposal of garbage’s. This has created many social and hum threatens consequences in some local government division. Especially health of the people in such areas has been going under many threaten of the epidemic diseases. Also, there are another new threaten factor has been erupted due to informal garbage’s disposal or throwing by the local authority to the jungle that is conflict between human and wild elephant. Informal garbage’s disposal by the local authority has been created threat for the wild elephant as well as people who are living in such areas. That has created another human security issue at the grass root. This trend has been created immediate threat for the people life’s and their properties. There are number of people have been killed by the wild elephant. On the other hand, it is a big threatened for the wild elephant as well. This issue specially has emphasized at the Madawachchiya Pradeshiya Saba Division. According to this data table that total service delivering of garbage collection by the local government institutions is 69.9%. But, people have been used their own sources rather than local government facilities. This data shows, only 22.0% from out of total data have indicated that service delivering by the local government with regard garbage collections in those areas. This trend is emphasizing about lack of accountability with regard service delivering of the local government sector. Also, there are other performances such as effective and efficiency of the service delivering has been undermining in the local government Institutions. Efficiency and punctuality of the service providing has been measured in same areas by this research. According to the data, it has emphasized following nature of efficiency and punctuality with regard garbage collection system.

According to Table 2, data shows that efficiency and punctuality of garbage collection by the local government institutions has not giving proper picture in those areas. Except Hambantota, all other Pradeshiya Saba did not have daily regular system on garbage collection. For example, it has indicating, Hambantota by 100% from out of valid data, Ruwanwalla by 95.2%, Madawachchiya by 61.7 has been indicated as daily collection of garbage’s. But other local government institutions could not maintain proper system regarding garbage collection in their (LG) areas. Delayed arrivals for the garbage collection have negatively impact on environmental and health issues in some local government areas. Due to delayed arrivals that spreading bad smell surrounding area has been created a threating environment. Wild animals reaching to garbage has created many security issues. It is clear that overall assessment of this data file that only 61.0% has been indicated as daily collection by the local government institutions. Chronologically, 16.9% and 15.3% has been indicated as twice a week and weekly arrivals for the garbage collections. Specially, sub urban areas have been shown more population density. Therefore, large amount of garbage’s is having to be collected per day. But local government institutions did not give priority or sufficient attention in this problem.

Due to absence for garbage collection that local government institutions should have an alternative arrangement for the people to put the garbage’s. According to this data Table 3, there is a no proper alternative arrangement for the garbage throwing or disposal. Due to absence for collection of garbage by the authorities, people have to be waiting for a long time. There are 66.1% indicated as waiting for arrivals for next day. According to indication of earlier data table, most of institutions are arriving once a week or twice a week for the collection of garbage’s. In this context, if there any absences of the local authority for the collection of garbage’s that people are need to staying more than two weeks for throwing or disposal their garbage’s. In this table has indicated that Uhana Pradeshiya Sabha showing 83.3% garbage are throwing in to illegal place due to lack

Table 2. Regularity of garbage collections by the local government institution.

Source: Primary data table from field survey 2016.

Table 3. Alternative arrangements for garbage collections by the local government institution.

Source: Primary data table from filed survey 2016.

of alternative arrangement for the garbage’s disposal. This is an important duty and responsibility of the local government institutions but they have been neglected it. General situation of other local government divisions’ in the country are reflecting not a big difference with compare with this context. Attitudes related actions such as Efficiency and punctuality on service delivering had been declined by some local government institutions.

8.2. Maintain and Sustain of the Infrastructure Facilities in the Rural Society

According to 13th amendment and Act of Pradeshiya Saba that have given power and authority to develop infrastructure facilities for the rural society which has come under the main subject of the local government institutions. Therefore, maintain and sustain of the rural roads and street lamps and sign boards are main responsibilities and duties of the Pradeshiya Saba. Many Pradeshiya Saba have been located in sub urban areas. Therefore, road system with good condition is essential for the well transportation system for the people. On the other hand, most of people who living in rural areas have been engaged in agricultural activities as their main economic strengthen. Therefore, they need to better rural roads system for transport their harvest to the town areas or market places.

Many rural villages have been suffering transportation problems for a long time. Some village even doesn’t have a proper transportation system. Therefore, well maintain road system is essential for the people on their day to social life. Following table has been shows, the reality of the commitment and delivering of the services by the local government institutions with regard maintain and sustain of the rural roads system. Weak road system is one of the main aspirations of the people who are live in above local government divisions. Local government institutions had not taken sufficient and proper steps to upgrade or well maintain of the local roads system in those areas. There are some roads but, even cannot walk by foot. Therefore, people have been suffering to access to town or sub urban areas on their day to day requirements.

Table 4, has been shows overall picture about nature of total rural roads system of the local government areas. This Measure determined through nature of finishing of the roads, roads completed by tar and concrete. According to data, only the Hambantota local government division has been indicated by 72.0% from out of total valid data as half of roads from total roads have been completed by tar or concrete. But, other all the local government divisions have been indicated below 50.0% of tar and concrete or between 50.0% - 75.0% range. From total amount of valid data have been indicating 11.3% as nothing to any maintain of roads.

Madawachchiya Pradeshiya Saba has indicated lowest percentage of maintain of the roads from the total local government institutions. It was mentioned as 60.0% from out of total valid data. It is worst situation with regard infrastructure facilities given by local government. In Dimbulagala division has indicated 88. % roads have completed by Tar or concrete that amount is representing only 25% of total roads in area. However, only 30.8% of out of total valid data has been indicated as more than 50% roads have been completed by Tar or concrete. But, only 12.8% of out of total valid data has mentioned that fully completed by Tar or concrete. More than 30.8% out of total valid data have been mentioned that more than 25% of rural roads are still remained without formal maintaining system such as completing by Tar or concrete. This is the rough general picture of whole entire local government areas in the country. It has not giving huge difference between these natures with compare other local government areas in the country side. Therefore, result of this outcome assuming that after thirty years period that Pradeshiya Sabah has not come to specific achievement on rural infrastructure development activities. There are various sources have been

Table 4. Natures of roads conditions in the rural areas by tar and concrete.

Source: Primary data table from field survey 2016.

providing financial resources for the Pradeshiya Saba with regard enhance and maintain of them rural roads. Yet it has not realized.

According to Figure 2, cannot be seemed considerable development regarding infrastructure facilities in above local government areas. Not only development of road system but also, maintain of streets lamps and displaying sign boards on the roads are responsibilities and duty of the Pradeshiya Saba. One of the main blames of the ordinary people with regard failure of the of the service delivering of the local government institutions is lack of commitment and not giving priority for keeping streets lamps in proper system. This is, significant in sub urban areas. This research examined this matter with the field, following table has been giving clear picture about maintain and sustain of the streets lamp by the Pradeshiya Saba. People are suffering many issues due to failure of proper street lamps system in those local divisions. Mostly, members of the council and Chairman of the councils have been working on their personnel agenda but not for the common people of the area. They have done some development activities not targeted for the people but their own relatives and family members. Some roads have constructed on their Personnel necessary not for the people requirements.

Table 5 illustrated nature of service providing by the local institutions. Some local government divisions are much closed to the jungle area. People who are living beside or near to the jungle area have been suffering living threat from the wild animals. They need to access roads in daytime as well as night time. One of the main life threats is wild elephants who come to inside villages. Even day time, they are arriving and destroying plants, properties and agrarians harvest of the people. At the evening, people cannot walk in the roads due to this problem. People have been asking more streets lamps facilities and good condition with roads. But, it is very clear that Pradeshiya Saba could pit streets lamp for at least the main points of the road side properly. At the movement, number of people has been given compensation by their lives for the wild elephants. This is one of the human security issues.

Figure 2. Natures of roads conditions in the rural areas by tar and concrete.

Table 5. Service provides on streets lamps by the local government institutions.

Source: Primary data table from field survey 2016.

Figure 3 demonstrating reality of the service accountability of the local institutions at the grass root society. But, Pradeshiya Saba did not concern people aspiration. According to above data shows, that service providing on streets lamps in Thambalagamuwa division has indicated total percentage of service as 4.0% of out of total data. Hambantota 56.0% which is highest amount compare with other Local Divisions. Ruwanwalla has indicated 33.3% of out of data. Gogakawela LG division has indicated as 28.0% of out of data. Madawachchiya has mentioned as 36.0% of out of total supply of streets lamps.

There’re three local divisions such as Uhana, Laggala Pallegama and Dimbulagala LG division has mentioned as 0.0% out of data about total supply of streets lamps. These three LG divisions have extremely minimum service of streets lamps by the local government institutions in those areas. These LG divisions are much closed to the jungle area. People of these areas have been made many complained against Local Government Institutions on their weak service on service delivering. Total assessment of service on streets lamps for the LG areas, data table shows, 35.4% out of total data has mentioned as total supply of streets lamps in those LG divisions. That is the highest amount of total supply in between 1% - 20% ranks. But, total supply of streets lamps in between 81% - 99% has mentioned as 15.9% of total data. There is not sufficient service on streets lamps has been given by the local government institutions for the people who lived in above local government divisions. Mainly, lack of efficiency and commitment has been impacted on this prevailing nature of service delivering by the LG. Chairmen or elected members are not concerned with regard people’s aspirations or requirements. Pradeshiya Saba doesn’t have proper plan regarding how to implement such a service by regularly. There no proper methods regarding monitoring of the service after delivered. Due to failure of the services, people need to waiting for a long period for repair and reestablishment of the failure services. This nature also, emphasized of lack of service accountability of local government Institutions in Grass root.

Figure 3. Service provides on streets lamps by the local government institutions.

8.3. Efficiency and Effectiveness of Maintain of Streets Lamps by the Local Government Institutions

Many villages in those local government divisions have been suffering various difficulties. Once the person got ill people have to go far and away for seeking a hospital or medical centers. At the night situation is much dangerous without streets lamp of the roads. Even, sub urban areas such as Gogakawela, Madawachchiya town, Ruwanwalla also suffering on this problem.

Above table shows, Thambalagamuwa 72% out of total valid data indicated 1%-20% supply of streets lamps out of total supply. But, it has indicated only 8% out of total data above more than 80% of total supply streets lamps. Laggala Pallegama division also has been displayed same trend. It has indicated 75% out of total valid data that supply of streets Lamps has indicated as below the 20% from the total supply. When the look for total supplies of streets lamps in those local divisions’ areas that situation is worst. People answer on (yes) from total supply every local division has indicated below 50% except Hambantota. Thambalagamuwa only 4% from the total supply, Uhana has been indicating as zero level because some rural areas don’t have any streets lamps in their road sides. Only Hambantota has indicated as 56% from the total supply of streets lamps. Ruwanwalla has mentioned by 33% from the total supply of streets lamps.

Laggala Pallegama has been indicating as zero service on streets lamps. As it is same Uhana division that many rural villages have been suffering without streets lamps in their road’s sides. These people are suffering on many difficulties’ day and night time. Gogakawela has been indicated 28%. While, Dimbulagala is mentioning zero percent streets lamps from total supply. This is a very special location because their local government has been covering a huge area. Pradeshiya Saba could not properly treat peripheral villages. But, those villages’ people are suffering many life threats from wild animals such as wild elephants. Madawachchiya has indicated 36% only from the total supply of streets lamps. Total picture with regard supply of streets lamps by the local government Institutions is an extremely negative one. This trend as it is same in other local government areas of the country.

The factors have not displaying big difference. Due to lack of concerned of the members of councils that villagers are suffering on these problems. According to people of the areas that their members are not brings these issues in to Pradeshiya Saba council. On the other hand, people are saying that Chairman and members are working on their personnel progress but not for the social well-being of the people. People didn’t get streets lamps but members and their families has been completed all the necessary requirements for their living environments.

Efficiency and effectiveness are showing negative nature of the Pradeshiya Saba. Local government could not fulfill action with efficiency and effectively on people aspirations. Properly, they have not concerned and drawn attention regarding people needs. For example, when the collapse or destroyed of the exciting streets lamps or material, people are informing to the Pradeshiya Saba. But, there are action is not well performed with effectively. One of the important requirements of the service accountability is efficiency and effective reaction for the people demand. Following data shows hoses local government institutions has given their reactions on people requirements.

When the failure of street lamps or damages that there is no proper monitoring system of the Pradeshiya Saba. According to sources has given follow when the people were informed to local authority their actions are very dissatisfaction, when the destroyed or damaged of the street’s lamps people have informed or complained to the Pradeshiya Saba. Due to taken long period for repair of the failure services that people have been suffered on many issues. Specially, most peripheral village has been suffering much human security issue without proper services on streets lightings. Pradeshiya Saba has separate division for repairing and rehabilitations of streets lamps but it is not properly implementing.

Table 6 has clear shows about service efficiency of the existing local government institutions. When the failure of service, local government is not giving priority concern to repair or replace of the damaged item or materials. This back-ward nature clearly indicated from this table. Special situation has been indicated in Thambalagamuwa. There is nothing concerned people demands or request by the local government.100% people opinion out of total valid data has mentioned that local government did not giving service supply immediately or whatever conditions.

Only the Hambantota, Ruwanwalla and Gogakawela has mentioned by 68%, 57% and 52% with regard immediate actions regarding streets lamps failure. Those other entire areas situation is negative one. Uhana by 24% of out of total valid data, Laggala Pallegama 8.3% out of total valid data, Dimbulagala and Madawachchiya as 12% and 12% out of total valid data. However, in total assessment of service delivering with regard streets lamps by those local government institutions has been failed to provide efficiency and immediate service for the people of the ground society.

According to Figure 4, shows all those local government institutions have been provided only 28.7% out of total data with regard immediate and efficiency

Figure 4. Immediate actions by the local government on failure of the street lamps.

Table 6. Immediate actions by the local government on failure of the street lamps.

Source: Primary data table from the field survey 2016.

reactions by the people request. 71.3% of total data has indicated as negative response of the Pradeshiya Saba with regard immediate reactions on failures of streets electricity. This is only one measure of service delivering of the Pradeshiya Saba. There are several services nature is as it is same. In general, entire country situation is not creates big difference with compare with these trends of the above local government institutions. Most of Pradeshiya Saba has been neglected or give up their responsibilities and accountability in their service delivering process.

9. Conclusion

Sri Lanka has a historical time line with regard local government system. But, modern local government system and their service delivering process have been becoming a most formal under the colonial period. Existing local government system has been established under the three-tire level. Municipal and urban councils were established mainly focused in metro Politian and sub urban areas. Pradeshiya Saba was established under the most grass root areas in the countryside. It was established under the specific act in 1987. Main objective of the Pradeshiya Sabah was rapidly accelerating social and economic enhancement of the people who are living in the rural society. Latest trend was local government system that social and economic development has been undergone locality with their power and decision-making process. Especially this trend was emphasized under the 1980 decades. Under the existing local government system or Pradeshiya Saba has been given necessary powers and authorities with regard functions and activities regarding social and economic wellbeing of the grass root society. According to Act that Pradeshiya Saba had been given number of subjects which has to be carried out at the grass root, mainly, infrastructures facilities were prominent. Mostly, rural economy and strength of the people economy are depending on agricultural activities. In this context, Pradeshiya Saba has to be delivered efficiency and worth service bottom level people on their social security. After thirty years period, when it is looking back to the achievement of the Pradeshiya Saba and people of the rural society, it’s not showing a favorable picture regarding role of Pradeshiya Saba on their service delivering process. This research carried out on selected local government area and analyzed the data on selected subjects of the service delivering by the Pradeshiya Saba. According to data analysis, it has been clearly shown that general situation of the service delivering of the Pradeshiya Saba did not achieve or fulfill of the people requirements successfully.

Cite this paper: Gamlath, K. (2020) Service Accountability and Social Well-Being of the Rural Community in Local Government Institutions in Sri Lanka—Special Reference to Selected Pradeshiya Saba. Open Journal of Political Science, 10, 568-588. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2020.103034.
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