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Border villages are our strategic asset: Lt Guv

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Says development is essential precondition to build an inclusive society

Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha attended the Back to Village programme today at Garkhal border village, Akhnoor.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Lt Governor observed that this participative Jan-Abhiyan promotes people-centric development for social transformation and focuses on improving the productivity of the rural J&K through increased ease of living.

The Lt Governor said that people’s participation in development of border villages is significant for social advancement and unleashing the spirit of self-reliance.

“Back to Village provides an opportunity for effective planning, roadmap for execution with PRIs to fulfil the dream of Gram Swaraj”, he added.

Terming Border villages as a strategic asset, the Lt Governor said the development of border villages is an essential precondition to build an inclusive society where there would be no discrimination and everyone enjoys equal share of opportunity.

Emphasising that one-size-fits-all approach will not be feasible for transforming rural areas because each village has its unique identity and requirements, the Lt Governor stressed that both administration and people must discuss and deliberate upon the aspirations of people and work on the projects that are viable and sustainable.

Saying that solutions to the crucial issues will come from the people, the Lt Governor directed the officers to interact with Gram Panchayat on first Monday of every month to understand the people’s problems, realize their strength and bridge the chasm between policy and implementation for transformation of rural landscape.

Noting that the days of indiscretion and arbitrariness are over, the Lt Governor said, “we have established fairness and transparency in the system to remove the development imbalances and to weed out nepotism and corruption. Today, a transparent system is giving boost to J&K’s economy and making its growth sustainable”.

It is our firm resolve to improve the implementation on the ground. A lot has been achieved in the last three years with speedy implementation of the projects, and we continue to invest in schemes to make rural J&K self-reliant and to increase incomes by creating more self-employment opportunities at the local level, the Lt Governor added.

The Lt Governor further said that it is our endeavour to realise the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister to encourage the participation of all citizens to be part of the decision-making in order to steer the engine of development and change the socio-economic landscape of rural Jammu Kashmir.

“We have prioritised the development of rural & border areas. This year, 10 PRI, 5 MGNREGA, one BDC, one Samridh Seema Yojana & 23 projects under 14FC are in progress in Garkhal to improve the lives of people, fulfil their basic needs and to accelerate overall development”, the Lt Governor added.

Highlighting that employment, health, education and improving the productivity of the people are among the focus areas of the government during Back to Village, the Lt Governor said a target has also been set to identify 15 young boys and girls from every panchayat for Self-employment assistance and 20 youths for skill development.

Assuring all necessary support from the administration for comprehensive and holistic development of panchayats, the Lt Governor asked the public representatives and rural population for making their village drug-free, litigation free and ensuring every woman is associated with self-help group, and youth are aware of their real potential.

The Lt Governor said, it is the responsibility of PRI members to ensure saturation of various schemes and initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, KCC, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Soil Health Card, agriculture-related schemes, Ayushman Sehat Golden Card etc.

It must be ensured that every child is immunized; every citizen has a bank account, every child, every girl goes to school; every land owner has a land passbook; everyone should have a ration card with Aadhar seeding; Panchayat Ghar should function smoothly and youth are engaged in sports & other constructive activities, he further added.

In the last two years, through continuous mass campaigns, block Diwas, Gram Panchayats, other outreach campaigns and result-oriented policies, inclusive development of panchayats has been ensured. Efforts have been made to bring government services to people’s doorsteps, observed the Lt Governor.

Development of rural and far-flung areas is being given special attention. Now the development plans are being prepared in consultation with PRIs and around 20,000 projects have been taken up for execution which were decided by the people’s representatives and the people together, added the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor said that budget allocation of Rs 1000 crore to Panchayats, Rs 200 crore to DDCs, Rs 71.25 crore to BDCs, Rs 600 crore for Samridh Seema Yojana, this year, which is a reflection of the administration’s commitment to empower and strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions, border villages and addressing challenges by harmonizing policies and programmes, ensuring that the benefits of development reach all sections, granting every citizen their due rights and entitlements.

The principle of transparency and zero tolerance towards corruption has revolutionized the implementation of projects. Fear-free corruption-free system has been established through paperless, faceless administrative mechanism. This system has ensured that every citizen can keep track of every rupee being spent in their locality, noted the Lt Governor.

The capex budget of Jammu and Kashmir has also been increased to Rs 22,126 crore this year which is four times more as compared to earlier and this increase has been given for development works in collaboration with the three levels of Panchayati Raj system, said the Lt Governor.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor distributed land passbooks, sports kits, wheelchairs and sanction letters to beneficiaries under various schemes and also inspected the stalls set up by the government departments.

Sh. Bharat Bhushan, Chairman DDC Jammu; Sh Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Sh Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Ms Avny Lavasa, Deputy Commissioner, DDC & BDC members, PRI representatives, and people in large numbers were present on the occasion.

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