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Setting panchayats in motion: Govt asks RDD to keep panchayat houses ready

Srinagar, Jan 15: The panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir are set to operate as a process has been initiated to maintain and renovate panchayat buildings in the state.

After years of delay, the authorities were finally able to conduct panchayat elections in J&K last year.

The polls were conducted for 4,483 Panchayats with a Sarpanch for each Panchayat Halqa and 35,029 Panchs in the state.

On January 11, they all took oath at a function attended by Governor Satya Pal Malik and his advisors.

Now, the government has decided to make panchayats function immediately in the state.

In a recent communiqué by Secretary Rural Development Department (RDD) to concerned authorities, the functioning of panchayats is likely to be started after due training.

“In order to start formal functioning of the panchayats by holding the HalqaMajlis gram sabha without any hindrance, the Panchayat Ghars of the state needed to be kept neat and clean and under use-able working conditions. It is impressed upon director general Rural Development Department to issue immediate necessary instructions to the all ACDs and DPOs including BDOs to keep the Panchayats Ghars neat and clean and ready for functioning of panchayat,” the communiqué reads.

The letter says that after initial clean-up, the buildings be handed over to panchayats for their use.

An official of Rural Development Department said that government has also directed the officials to renovate the buildings, which were set on fire by unknown people last year.

The government has directed all Block Development Offices of the Rural Development Department to ensure that the field functionaries maintain their headquarters in Panchayat Ghars of their respective halqas.

“Besides, the land donors who have donated the land for construction of these panchayat Ghars/CFCs and come under the purview of SRO 520 shall be responsible for watch and ward of these panchayat Ghars/CFCs,” directives issued by Rural Development Department read.

It says that project officer wage employment ACDs shall ensure that all panchayat ghars in their respective districts are properly looked after by placing existing staff for keeping watch and ward of the RDD buildings including panchayat ghars wherever necessary in order to protect the government property.