Back to Village 2.0: Panchayat reps to act as nodal officers for dev works

Srinagar, Nov 22: Panchayat representatives will act as nodal officers for the developmental works that will be undertaken under the ‘Back to Village’ programme 2.0.

“Back to Village programme will focus on empowering and energizing Panchayats. Once the officer identifies works, Panchayat members will be given the responsibility to complete the project,” said a top officer.

 

Government has already directed officials to identify works in each Gram Panchayat. The five-day ‘Back to Village 2.0’ kicks off on November 25.

“Each officer will stay in a Gram Panchayat for two days and listen to the demands and grievances of people,” said an official of Rural Development Department.

Government officials have also been told to review the progress of works initiated after Back to Village 1.0 held in June this year.

“Around Rs 5 crore has been released for works in each district under Back to Village 1.0. Officials will now review these works and submit report to government,” he said. 

An official said Centre has released Rs 1000 crore to Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir. “Around Rs 700 crore will be released in next few months. Government wants funds to be spent through Panchayat members,” the official said. 

Secretary, Rural Development Department, Sheetal Nanda said that objective of ‘Back to Village’ is to empower Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Each officer will be assigned a Gram Panchayat to identify works. Government wants to strengthen Panchayat system in Jammu and Kashmir for which Centre has been releasing huge funds,” Nanda said.

Panchayats, in addition to being involved in the selection of eligible beneficiaries for various government welfare schemes, can get Rs 50 lakh-80 lakh per year for implementation of key national schemes like National Health Mission and Samagra Shiksha etc.

A Panch from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district said government wants funds for Social Welfare Department, Rural Development Department, Education, Health and Agriculture to be spent through Panchayat members.

He however said that security was a major concern for panchayat members. “I have visited only twice to my constituency for the last three months. People of my constituency visit me at a hotel and enquire about their problems. We are not able to review the developmental works in our constituencies,” he said.

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