‘Powerful Panchayats Govt’s commitment’
KALAKOTE, (Rajouri), Apr 24: Pulverising the figments fabricated by main opposition party (PDP) regarding the empowerment of panchayats, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Tuesday pooh-poohed the baseless propaganda in this regard questioning the PDP leadership about fate of urban local body institutions during their regime.
“It was your dispensation who degraded the urban local body institutions to zero degree and made a fun of their respected members”, he told the PDP leadership without naming them, adding that noise making is something else and taking action on ground is different. “People are wise enough to read between the lines. They judge us on practical work rather than slogan making”, he added.
Addressing a huge public gathering here, the Chief Minister said that powerful and effective panchayat system is his Government’s commitment.
“You will see soon a three-tier powerful panchayat system functioning and flourishing in the State”, he said asking the people not to fall prey to any propaganda. He said that under a well drafted programme, election to block panchayat bodies would be completed soon after the election to the reserved seats for panchayats in Legislative Council is held.
The Chief Minister said that the four seats in Legislative Council are reserved for panchayats, adding that the election to these is to be conducted by the Election Commission of India. He said the delay in the process of establishing block bodies was because of this reason and now decks have been cleared for holding the election of MLCs reserved for panchayat which would follow constitution of block and district panchayat councils. He said the services of 14 Government departments have already been transferred to panchayats besides providing financial support of Rs. 40 crores.
Underlining the holding of panchayat elections as historic achievement of his Government, Omar Abdullah said that had the main opposition party (PDP) conducted these elections they would have unleashed propaganda and self praising campaign for 100 years.
“The Uri-Muzaffarabad route was opened after the agreement reached between the two heads of the Countries of India and Pakistan but in this regard PDP created such an hype of self praising and blowing of own trumpet giving an impression that this party was distributing tickets for travelling in the bus service to Muzaffarabad”, he said taking a dig on the propagandist approach of PDP.
“Similarly, they talked much about healing touch but did nothing during their dispensation. It is our Government which removed bunkers, brought in rehabilitation policy, launched Awami Mulakat programmes to reach out people in all areas, introduced unemployment allowance, expanded job orbit for youth and transferred power from the Secretariat to the grass root levels by holding panchayat elections”, he said referring to a list of new initiatives and path breaking measures, the Coalition Government has taken during the last three years in the State to bring in transparency, restrict corruption and involve people in governance.
“During electioneering when we talked about providing unemployment allowance to the youth, our detectors smiled declaring it impossible. But we made it possible and presently thousands of unemployed youth are getting this benefit”, he said, adding that the recently elected Utter Pradesh Government is now introducing a similar initiative in UP taking a page from our policy programme in this regard.
Omar Abdullah said that peace and progress with thrust on creation of economic activities and job opportunities is the central idea of the NC-Congress alliance. “We are working in tandem to mitigate difficulties of people and restore peace and stability in the State”, he said, adding that the impact of balanced development unleashed in the State during the last three years is amply visible on ground. “The next three years will witness further fillip and fast tracking of development in the State. We do not say that we have done everything but it is visibly fact that our Government has reached out to all corners of the State in the process of development”, he elaborated.
On corruption, the Chief Minister said that they (PDP) only raised the slogans and did nothing practical on ground. “Instead we brought in powerful Accountability Commission, Right to Information Commission and Public Service Guarantee Act to bring in transparency and check the malpractices and corruptions at various levels”, he said and also mentioned the third party monitoring and e-tendering launching by his Government first time in the State to address the burning issue of corruption.
Omar Abdullah asked the party workers to apprise the people about the path breaking initiatives taken by the Coalition Government regarding time bound public service delivery, restricting corruption and empowering grass root level public representatives and involving them in development process and governance.
Omar Abdullah told them to make the people aware of the powers given to them under Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) to obtain some 50 public services from 6 departments of Power, PHE, CAPD, Housing, Transport and Revenue in a time bound manner. He said the Government functionaries have been made responsible for delivery of services in a time bound manner to the consumers.
Thanking the people for their wholehearted support to his Government, Omar Abdullah asked them to strengthen the communal harmony and brotherhood at all costs. “Some vested elements would try to wedge apart you in the name of region, religion, caste and creed, but you have to exhibit your resolve to maintain State’s rich ethos of mutual love and brotherhood prevailing between various sections of the society and between various regions”, he said.
The Chief Minister said that peace was imperative for development and every citizen of the State is equal share holder in peace and development process. He said Government is determined to carry forward development to every area, adding that peaceful atmosphere is necessary to accomplish this stupendous task.
On the development of far-flung areas like Kalakote and Nowshera, the Chief Minister said that all round and equitable development of all areas and all sections of the society is the commitment of his Government. He said special focus is being given to the development of remote and far-off backward areas.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad and Vice Chairman Kissan Advisory Board, Rachpal Singh and Provincial president, National Conference, Rattan Lal Gupta listed the achievements registered by the Coalition Government on all fronts during the last three years.
The Chief Minister also laid the foundation of Rs. 11.72 crore Degree College complex at Nowshera.
The Degree Collage complex will come up on an area of over 102 kanals of land procured for this purpose. The college building is likely to be completed in 2014.An amount of Rs 6.57 crores has been released for the construction.
The Chief Minister met various deputations at Nowshera, Kalakote and Rajouri and also interacted with party workers at these places. The deputations were from different political parties, social organizations, traders, unions and other sections of the society. They presented their demands to the Chief Minister who gave patient hearing and said that the demands would be looked into actively for consideration.
In the afternoon, the Chief Minister reviewed the development of Rajouri District at district officers meeting in which the District Development Commissioner, Rajouri presented resume of the work done in the district on various schemes during the last year. He also gave details of current year’s development plan.
The Chief Minister directed the district administration to be at the beck and call of people and show quick response to their grievances. He said the completion of development works in a time bound manner should be made the basic ingredient in the functioning of the Government departments.
‘Powerful Panchayats Govt’s commitment’