Govt chalks out multi-pronged strategy for holistic development of all districts

Separate plans to be formulated with focus on all vital aspects

For Ist time, multi-year perspective plans being prepared

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Apr 20: Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has chalked out multi-pronged strategy to give necessary push to the development activities at the district level with focus on each and every important aspect. Moreover, each district will have separate Employment, Housing, Tourism, Industrial, Health, Sports and Road Connectivity Plans for the first time.
Even directions have been issued for formulation of multi-year perspective plan to ensure that some issues that cannot be addressed during a single year get addressed over a period of 2-3 years or maximum of five years.
Highly placed sources told EXCELSIOR that a detailed power-point presentation regarding formulation and implementation of District Development Plan with focus on each and every vital aspect of the development was recently made by the Financial Commissioner, Finance Department Dr A K Mehta before the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in the presence of Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam.
Accordingly, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor multi-pronged strategy has been chalked out in order to ensure holistic development of all the districts of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The strategy has been worked out keeping in view democratic decentralization of functions, funds and functionaries, sources informed.
“For the implementation of the District Plans, the District Development Councils will act as the District Planning Committee as per Article 243-ZD of the Indian Constitution and the schemes that are related to functions transferred as per 73rd and 74th Amendments will form part of the District Plan”, they further informed.
They disclosed that every district of the Union Territory will formulate a District Development Plan and identify key issues within the domain of its functions and use available resources to address the issues being faced by the common people. “Each district will also formulate a multiyear perspective plan to ensure that some issues that cannot be addressed during a single year get addressed over a period such as 2-3 years or maximum of five years”, sources added.
The District Development Plans will comprise of Block Development Plans which will cater to the list of issues that are required to be addressed at Block level and the planning at Block level will ensure that issues between different Panchayats are addressed where it involves more than one Panchayat.
At the grass root level Panchayat Development Plans will be formulated involving Gram Sabhas, which will hold at least two meetings to formulate their plans in accordance with the ceilings already conveyed to them by the District Development Commissioners.
Disclosing that each district will come up with District Employment Plan, sources said, “each district will ensure that the job card holders are able to get 100 days of employment during the year and it would be considered as performance indicator of the Deputy Commissioners”, adding “they (Deputy Commissioners) have also been directed to identify the youth seeking self employment in any Panchayat and necessary financial assistance should be provided to them from number of schemes that are being run by the Union Territory Government and the Jammu and Kashmir Bank will take lead in these matters so as to ensure that every single youth looking for employment beyond the Government is provided opportunity”.
Moreover, there will be Housing Plan for each district and with number of people covered under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is already known for both rural and urban areas the directions have been issued for saturation, sources said, adding “recently a scheme has been approved for urban areas in which a loan can be raised from Jammu and Kashmir Bank to enable beneficiaries to avail larger amount needed in urban areas. This parameter will help Government in evaluating the performance of the districts”.
Disclosing that even District Tourism Plan will be formulated, sources said, “there is a provision of about Rs 300 crore which can be used for the development of heritage pilgrimage sites”, adding “the basic focus will be to use existing assets since the large number of assets available in the districts are left idle throughout the year”.
The focus of the Tourism Plan will be to optimize utilization of available resources to convert district into a vibrant tourist destination within a period of one year. “The funds available under various schemes in the tourism development can be used for district level planning and execution of tourism related activities”, sources said.
As new Industrial Policy has been announced with special focus on setting up of industries in remote areas, each district will prepare Industrial Plan to speed up the process of clearances and ensuring land availability to entrepreneurs seeking to set up their industries in various districts, sources further informed, adding “each district has already identified one product for promotion of industry”.
“J&K has one of the best health infrastructure in the country and one of the highest doctor per 1000 population. However, in view of COVID-19 Health Plans assume great significance and therefore, District Health Plans will be formulated to manage the current situation with the help of the stakeholders”, they said.
Under the Sports Plan, each district will ensure that every Panchayat has a play field and every school organizes multiple sporting activity. Moreover, there will be Panchayat level, Block Level and District level games in those sporting activities which are popular and these events will also identify players for Province level and UT level activities.
The districts will also prepare Road Connectivity Plan to ensure that proper connectivity is made available to desired habitations and district roads are maintained in proper condition ensuring pot hole free roads which will be an important performance indicator, sources further said, adding “the District Development Plans will also include Tribal Development and Irrigation Plans”.