SRINAGAR – Taking note of the area-specific needs & developmental aspirations of the people, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today interacted with the Chairpersons of District Development Councils of Kashmir Division at Civil Secretariat here.
During the interaction, the Lt Governor also sought feedback on the pace of the developmental projects and their implementation on ground, besides other issues of public importance in their respective constituencies. A similar interaction with DDCs of the Jammu Division will be held soon.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor reiterated the J&K government’s commitment to making Panchayati Raj Institutions more empowered and vibrant in true sense.
“The integrated approach to institutionalize the active participation of PRIs in implementation of various schemes and projects will be a key driver of the UT’s overall development agenda. The three-tiers of the Panchayati Raj system is a bridge between policies and their implementation on the ground, and the administration is putting concerted efforts to strengthen the grass root level of the democratic setup”, the Lt Governor said.
Terming the Panchayati Raj system as the cornerstone of participatory governance in J&K, the Lt Governor observed that the Funds, Functions and Functionaries have been made available to the Public Representatives for grass-root development. For invoking a greater role of Jan Bhagidari in the development process, the PRIs will be further strengthened in the near future, he added.
The Lt Governor called upon the DDCs to work in collaboration with the administration at all levels, and also assured full cooperation and support of the government towards meeting the aspirations of people and their elected representatives.
The UT Government is treading successfully on the five principles viz. Transparency in governance, Empowering Grassroots Democracy, People’s Welfare, Accelerated Development, Creation of Employment opportunities which were laid down one year ago for the development and prosperity of Jammu & Kashmir, observed the Lt Governor.
Acknowledging the roles and responsibilities of the DDC Chairpersons for the development of their respective districts, the Lt Governor said that people of J&K have high aspirations from the DDC Chairpersons in fulfilling their development aspirations and needs, and formulation of historic District Capex Budget 2021-22 with the active participation of District Development Councils was a step ahead in this direction, he added.
The Lt Governor appreciated the functioning of the DDC Chairpersons and said that their rich experience and knowledge would complement the government’s efforts in the holistic development and welfare of the people of J&K.
During the interaction meeting, the DDC Chairpersons apprised the Lt Governor about their District-specific issues related to the development and public welfare.
Addressing the issue of providing continuous water supply to every household under Jal Jeevan Mission including those residing in far-flung and remote areas, the Lt Governor said that directions have already been passed to the concerned Secretary for the constitution of a team for monitoring the specific mission only.
On being apprised regarding power outage in Gurez region due to heavy snowfall, the Lt Governor said that the UT administration is working on the underground cabling project with Power Grid Corporation of India for providing power to Gurez even during the heavy snowfall season. The DPR of the project would be completed this month, he added.
While informing the achievements of macadamization of roads under PMGSY in the UT, the Lt Governor said that the UT administration has cleared a large number of cases and completed various works pending for several years. He further informed the DDC Chairpersons that work is also going on in full swing to provide pothole free roads and this year, the department aims to make 6000 km road length free of pot-holes. “Soon the remaining villages left without proper road connectivity would be connected in the next two years”, he added.
On being informed about the shortage of staff in the offices of line departments in some districts, the Lt Governor said that rationalization would be done to strengthen the departments facing a shortage of officers.
The Lt Governor also spoke about various schemes and programs viz. Mission Youth, Mumkin, Parvaz, Hausla and other such initiatives under which employment opportunities are being provided to young boys and girls of the UT along with promoting entrepreneurship. He informed about the target of extending the financial assistance to 50,000 youth set by the government for this year’s Back to Village program.
The Lt Governor directed the concerned officers to provide upgraded/new vehicles to the DDC office. He informed the DDC Chairpersons that DPR has been formulated for providing them accommodation and office facilities in every district.
The Lt Governor also enumerated the measures taken by the government pertaining to providing reliable power supply to the consumers, besides connecting the left-out habitations; employment generation; maintaining transparency and accountability in the government’s functioning.
The DDC Chairpersons would visit the other regions of the country to get the first-hand appraisal of the working of Panchayati Raj System in other States/UTs of the country thereby increasing their exposure and knowledge base, it was informed.
Besides DDC Chairpersons; Baseer Ahmed Khan, Advisor to Lt Governor; Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department; Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary to Government, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.