Jammu and Kashmir government committed to conduct panchayat polls

Jammu and Kashmir government committed to conduct panchayat polls

JAMMU:Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Abdul Haq Khan today said that the state government was committed to strengthen democracy at the grassroot level by holding panchayat elections.nnHe also said that arrangements were being made to ensure smooth conduct of the polls and that a formal notification in this regard would be issued soon by the competent authority.nnThe minister said this at the end of a debate in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on ‘Demand for Grants of the Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and allied departments’.nn”The government is committed to strengthen democracy at the grassroot level and has directed field officers to organise gram sabhas so that people themselves decide about the development works to be taken up and not the contractors or officials,” he said.nnThe minister said that the gram sabhas should play a vibrant role in effective execution of developmental programmes by taking advantage of schemes like the MGNREGA.nnKhan highlighted the achievements of the rural development department (RDD) in the past three years and outlined its future plans.nnHe said that the department had constructed several roads, bridges and culverts in the state under the MGNREGA scheme.nnThis has changed the socio-economic status of the rural populace and the improved implementation of RDD schemes has given a fillip to the rural economy, Khan claimed.nnThe minister said the department had done “tremendously well in all facets of human endeavour and a silent revolution was taking place in rural areas”.nnThe coalition government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is relentlessly focusing on energising the rural economy and uplift of the rural poor through a number of initiatives related to rural housing, infrastructure, farm income, job creation and entrepreneurship promotion, he said.nnThe RDD for the first time, since the launch of MGNREGA in the state, has done some commendable works. This has been acknowledged at the national level, the minister claimed.nnKhan said the department had constructed 679 bridges, 2,283 culverts, 31,337 roads in the past three years that speaks volumes about its success.nnThe department is using the programme to generate employment and create durable assets in rural areas. Funds are being utilised for developing productive assets and the focus is being laid on improving connectivity in villages and flood protection, he said.nnThe RDD has also constructed 2,696 ponds, 885 check dams, 3,617 water harvesting tanks, 561 play fields, 72 fisheries ponds, 55 anganwari centres and renovated 4,622 traditional water bodies and 20,143 micro irrigation works while providing jobs to 23.90 lakh people, the minister said.nnOn technology to monitor the assets, he said all assets in districts have been geo-tagged and is a touchstone of transparency.nnKhan said to bring transparency and accountability in the system one ombudsman will be engaged for two districts to look into any complaints.nnThe House passed grants amounting to Rs 3,12,131.58 for nutrition and special and other rural development programmes and the capital outlay of the department.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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