‘PRI Reps will continue to get honorarium’
SRINAGAR, Oct 19: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said there is no plan to reduce or scrap the honorarium of the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.
“Such rumours are being spread by certain vested interests deliberately misleading elected representatives on the honorarium issue,” Sinha said at a programme in Baramulla district.
The Union Territory administration on Saturday had issued rules to implement 73rd Amendment of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir, giving rise to speculations that the Government might do away with the honorarium being given to Panchs and Sarpanchs.
Sinha also said that the UT administration is not imposing property tax as being misrepresented by some people.
However, the Urban Local Bodies are competent to decide on such issues in consultation with the public and for their own development, he added.
Sinha said the adminstration has initiated the ‘my town, my pride’ programme with the prime agenda of empowering the urban local bodies by reaching out to the urban population with governance at their doorsteps and ensuring on the spot redressal of their issues and grievances.
The two-day long programme, an initiative for the municipal areas, is being conducted on October 19-20, during which camps for public service delivery have been set up.
The Lt Governor observed that public outreach in towns, strengthening grass-root democracy, and service delivery at doorsteps are the three main objectives of the initiative.
The programme has not been launched to announce anything new but it is an opportunity to discuss and derive solutions to existing needs, issues and for effective delivery of services at every doorstep, he said.
During the two days, many issues faced by the cities will come to light, which will thereby help create a definitive roadmap for developing a strong ecosystem for our cities, focussing on the urban-rural partnership, enhancing market and business opportunities, job creation, filling the gaps in education system and ensuring sustainable economic development of our cities, he added.
The Lt Governor asked the officers to own the initiative, identify local issues and needs of the people, and serve people with accountable, responsive, and participatory governance.
Synchronised efforts must be made for ensuring maximum saturation of social security and beneficiary-oriented schemes; besides ensuring speedy issuance of important documents, certificates; revenue services, and mobilisation of funds towards developmental activities as per the needs of the local population, he added.
During his visit, the Lt Governor inaugurated and laid the foundation of public assets worth Rs 16.64 crore. He also inaugurated Fish Market Bridge worth Rs 4.99 crore and laid the foundation of development and upgradation of Cariappa Park costing Rs 1.31 crore.
Sinha handed over Wheelchairs, Hearing Aids, Motorized vending Cart, and Irrigation Pump set, KCC sanction letters, school bags, books and school uniforms, Old-Age and Widow Pension Orders, sanction orders, and financial assistance to the beneficiaries under various welfare and departmental schemes including PMAY Urban, IHHL Urban, NULM and different schemes of Agriculture, Horticulture, FCS&CA, and other departments.
A fleet of Garbage collection vans of Municipal Council, Baramulla was also flagged off by the Lt Governor.
Sinha observed that the developmental works created as assets would benefit the local population in meeting their needs and demands.
The Lt Governor dedicated the Fish Market Bridge to the public and said that the bridge will cater to the needs of thousands of pedestrians and the long pending demands of the locals have been addressed with the construction of this bridge.
It was informed that the bridge is a vital link between Old Town Iqbal Market and Fish Market which is a business hub of Baramulla town. It reduces the commuting distance of 1.50 km to 110 meters.
The assets inaugurated by the Lt Governor today include – Bagh-i-Islam community centre worth Rs 2.62 crore; 8 CT/PT under SBM worth Rs 1.2 crore; Machinery/transport facility for Municipal Council, Baramulla costing Rs 1.44 Crore and distribution of door to door dustbins at a cost of Rs 39.80 lakhs.
The assets for those foundations laid were – 3 MLD Sewage / 60 KLD STP costing Rs 9.65 crore; Car parking at Noor-ul-Huda Market at a cost of Rs 84 lakhs and beautification of the market by way of illumination costing Rs 50 lakhs.
The Lt Governor also planted a sapling on the occasion. Artists spread awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic and other social issues through their cultural performances.