3-tier Panchayat system emerging in J&K State:CM

 Jammu, February 9  (Scoop News) –  Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today underscored the importance of large scale participation by the people in the Panchayat elections not only as voters but as the candidates. He said 3-tier Panchayat system will emerge in the State to involve public representatives at grassroots as participatory in the governance.

            Chairing a review meeting of District Development Board Doda here, the Chief Minister asked the administration to gear up at all levels to conduct Panchayat Elections in the State. He said cabinet has approved the holding of elections to Panchayats on non-party basis and administration should be fully prepared for accomplishing the stupendous duty of holding free and fear elections.

            He said that by holding elections to the basic democratic institutions of Panchayats, the people will get empowered at grassroots and economic development a considerable fillip.

            The Chief Minister said that the determination of his Government to ensure holistic development in far-flung and rural areas would get necessary impetus by the Panchayat system.           

 On the faster development of hilly and backward areas, the Chief Minister said that Government has focused priority attention on this aspect and various measures have been initiated for the purpose. He said attention is being paid to upgrade the communication network in these areas for expanding economic activities and generating employment for the people in general and young persons in particular.

            Omar said that Government has flagged construction of tunnels an important concern to link the inaccessible and difficult areas with main highways and shorten the inter-district and inter-provincial distance to make travel comfortable, smooth and safe besides helping in the development of backward pockets.

            “The Executing Agencies of various projects in the power and other sectors have been given categorical directions for engaging locals and also providing contracts and sub-contracts to the contractors of the area so that wide-ranging activities of economic importance are initiated in these areas”, he added.

            The Chief Minister said that his Government concentrated on the consolidation of health and education sectors during last two years to equip the schools and health centres with necessary manpower and equipment. “During the current year attention will also be paid to the extension part in these sectors for reaching out the people in difficult areas in education and healthcare fields by providing more schools and health centres”, he said adding that certain areas are in dire need of additional facilities in these sectors.

            On the issue of reducing the fleet of SRTC buses on Doda and Kishtwar roads raised by the legislators in the meeting, the Chief Minister said that the matter would be looked into by the Chief Secretary. He said that the granting of new buses for these routes was not intended to replace the existing ones. “It was to add the number of buses to avoid overloading, and increasing facilities to commuters”, he added.

            The meeting was attended by the Minister for Health and Horticulture, Shyam Lal Sharma, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Devender Singh Rana, Parliament Member, Lal Singh, Vice Chairman of Pahari, Kissan and  Gujjar Welfare Boards, M. A. Bukhari, Rachpal Singh and B. A. Naz, legislators, Najeeb Sorhwordy, Naresh Gupta, Ashok Kumar, Abdul Majid Wani, G. M. Saroori and Mohammad Shrief  Niaz, Secretary, Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary Planning and Development, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Divisional Commissioner, Pawan Kotwal, District Development Commissioner, Doda, Farooq Ahmad Khan, heads of the departments and district officers.

            The District Development Commissioner, Doda, Farooq Ahmad Khan in his PowerPoint presentation said that the district has achieved 76.27 percent achievement in realizing the targets under current district plan by the end of January this year. He said out of Rs. 69.16 crore availability of funds Rs. 52.75 crore have been expended.

            The Chief Minister announced Rs. 5.77 crore additionality for the district for current plan.