Govt committed to conduct Panchayat Polls: Haq Khan
JAMMU, Jan 18: Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq Khan today said the government is committed to strengthen the democracy at grassroots level by holding Panchayat elections. “All arrangements are being put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polls and the formal notification in this regard will be issued soon by the competent authority,” the Minister said while winding up the debate on the Demand for Grants of the Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and allied Departments in the Legislative Assembly today. The Minister enumerated in detail the achievements of Rural Development department during the past three years and outlined the future plans of the Department. He said the department has laid a network of roads, bridges and culverts in the state under MGNREGA scheme that has changed the socio-economic status of the rural populace. Stating that the improved implementation of RDD schemes has given flip to the rural economy, Minister said the department has done tremendously well in all facets of human endeavour and a silent revolution is taking place in rural areas. He said the coalition government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is relentlessly focusing on energizing rural economy as engine of growth and that the government is uplifting rural poor through a number of key initiatives related to rural housing & infrastructure, farm income, job creation and entrepreneurship promotion. Abdul Haq said since the launch of MGNREGA in the State, Rural Development department has for the first time done some commendable works which has been acknowledged at national level and has also won many awards in last three years. He said the department shunned its tradition of constructing lanes and drains on political considerations and instead concentrated on building a network of roads, culverts and other durable assets while providing job to lakhs of unemployed youths of the state. He said the department has witnessed several changes during last three years in its emphasis, approaches, strategies and programmes and has assumed a new dimension and perspectives as a consequence rural development has been richer and more meaningful only through the participation of people as people are now actively participating in Gram Sabhas. He said during the last three years department has set short terms missions with an aim to create durable assets for the people of rural areas while jobs are created under MGNREGA. He said though the prime aim of the scheme is to create jobs but if simultaneously durable assets are created that would be blessing for the area. Minister said the department identified the rural connectivity a major issue in rural areas and hence took up the task to focus on rural connectivity in first two years. He said the department constructed 679 bridges, 2283 culverts, 31337 roads during past three years that speaks volumes about the success of the implementation of this scheme in rural J&K. Minister said also took up the task to build sports infra in rural areas to help youth to showcase their talent and in this regard the department constructed 561 play fields. He said Government is making all out efforts to promote sports activities in the State by providing requisite facilities to youth.