Guv names Div Com as Coordinator between legislators, administration

Jammu gets Rs 50 cr for works

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 26: Governor NN Vohra has appointed Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma as Nodal Coordinating Agency between legislators and administration for expediting works even as he released Rs 50 crore as additional amount for expediting works at the District Development Board (DDB) Jammu meeting today.
Vohra also called upon the legislators to gear up for Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) elections as he made intentions clear that the Government would go tough on encroachments.
Sources told the Excelsior that on persistent demand of legislators of delay in execution of development works, corruption, encroachment of public properties etc, the Governor designated Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma to act as Nodal Coordinating Agency between legislators and administration for resolving all bottlenecks and ensure that work on projects may not hamper due to any reason.
Noting that prolonged delay in holding Panchayat and Municipal elections had cost the State dearly in terms of developmental assistance, Vohra sought cooperation of elected representatives of all political parties for conduct of elections to both urban and rural local self governing bodies.
The Governor made his intentions clear that his Government would go tough on encroachments across the State and that people’s representatives should fully support the drive.
The DDB meeting saw an unusual seen with lone Congress legislator, Thakur Balbir Singh targeting former BJP Ministers for miserably letting down the people of Jammu and doing nothing for them during three years of their Government with the PDP.
“The BJP was crying discrimination with Jammu for 70 years but today, it has been talking of incomplete projects and various schemes. Who is responsible for this? None else but these BJP leaders are responsible. They completely made Jammu to suffer,” Balbir Singh listed series of instances of discrimination with Jammu region including recruitment of less than 900 SPOs in Jammu as against 10,000 in Kashmir.
BJP legislators Priya Sethi and Romesh Arora countered Balbir Singh. Another BJP legislator GL Raina charged Balbir with converting the DDB Jammu meeting platform into the Congress meeting. One of the BJP members questioned the administration’s invite to Balbir Singh in the DDB Jammu meeting on the ground that he hailed from Billawar tehsil of Kathua district.
National Conference MLA from Nagrota, Devender Singh Rana presented a book to the Governor, his all three Advisors and the Chief Secretary on developmental works carried out by him in Nagrota and issues raised in the DDB meeting pertaining to different departments including their execution etc. Rana also gave copies of the book to all DDB members. Rana’s step was widely appreciated.
DC Jammu Ramesh Kumar made a presentation giving an overview of the developmental projects in various sectors under execution in the district. He informed that against an availability of Rs 169.75 crores, an expenditure of Rs 168.68 crores was incurred in the district, resulting in the blacktopping of over 564 km of roads, completion of over 50 water supply schemes, 10 buildings of different departments, 7,383 rural works and generation of over 17 lakh mandays   under MGNREGA.
Participating in the discussions, the Members of Parliament and each of the MLAs and MLCs projected a number of issues relating to the district, and of their areas in particular. They called for the speedy execution of a number of mega projects including the Pargwal bridge, Jammu-Akhnoor National Highway, Ring Road project, Mubarak Mandi and Raghunath Bazaar tourism projects, Suchetgarh project, Seema Bhawans and bunkers for the border areas.
They also raised issues which were specific to their constituencies, particularly focusing on drinking water scarcity, incomplete sewerage and drainage projects, macadamization of roads, repair of irrigation canals, solid waste management and parking issues.
The MLAs were also concerned about taking up of flood protection works in their areas. Several legislators welcomed the various initiatives taken by the Governor’s administration in the past month, including an increased efficiency in the public delivery process and the focus on elimination of corruption.
The Governor noted the issues raised by the elected representatives and observed that the objective of his visit was to obtain first hand feedback on the execution of all the major developmental works, assess the additional resource requirements and take early corrective actions.
Vohra emphasized that the focus of his administration was to provide a people friendly, corruption free and efficient public delivery systems. Responding to the issues raised in the meeting, he observed that his Advisors will convene early meetings with their officers for immediate review and addressing the issues pertaining to the departments under their charge.
The Governor requested Advisor Khurshid Ganai to urgently examine all the concerns relating to the non-disbursement of pensions among old age, widows and specially-abled persons. He also asked him to look into the delay in the initiation of works even after the allotment of tenders by the executing agencies.
Taking a serious note of the issue of the rapidly growing water scarcity in the district, Vohra directed the Planning Secretary to ensure that the project for water supply scheme for lifting water from river Chenab for augmenting water supply in Jammu was proposed under the next tranche of external funding on the first priority.
The meeting was attended B B Vyas, Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Advisors to Governor; Jugal Kishore Sharma and Shamsher Singh Manhas, MPs; Legislators of district Jammu: Kavinder Gupta, Sukhnandan Choudhary, Sham Lal Choudhary, Sat Sharma, Bali Bhagat, Devender Singh Rana, Priya Sethi, Rajesh Gupta, Rajeev Sharma, Dr. D K Manyal, Dr. Gagan Bhagat, Dr. Krishan Lal,  Kamal Arora – MLAs; Ashok Khajuria, Ramesh Arora, Thakur Balbir Singh, G L Raina and Vikram Randhawa -MLCs.
BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring Department; Pawan Kotwal, Hridesh Kumar, Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Administrative Secretaries, and Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu were also present at the meeting.