Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today virtually participated in the numerous panchayat level convergence meetings held first time at the beginning of new financial year 2023-24 across the Gram Panchayats of the UT.
Dr Mehta, during this interaction, impressed upon the Prabhari Officers of each Gram Panchayat to take full responsibility of representing Government in their concerned Panchayats. He exhorted upon them to create a proper mechanism of escalation of grievances at an appropriate level so that each of them are resolved up to the satisfaction of the people.
The Chief Secretary also emphasized on avoiding the ‘March Rush’ of presenting bills in treasuries. He instead asked them to complete all the works physically by the end of the year. He advised them to fix monthly targets for both physical and financial completion of works so that projects are completed efficiently throughout the year. He directed for completing at least 7000 works each month across the UT for even distribution of workload throughout the year.
Regarding the development of panchayats he asked the District Administration to make comprehensive Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP) in consultation with PRIs by calling the Gram Sabhas on 10th of April and finalizing the same by 15th of the month. He told them to ensure convergence of sectoral plans in the District and UT plans as per the nature and scope of the work.
He made out that the micro plans for Employment, Education, Sports, Culture, Health, Tourism, Cleanliness and Heritage like aspects are the way forward to make overall progress at the grassroots level. He termed employment generation as the top priority area and called for making plans to provide employment to all who are in search of it. He emphasized that Planning should be focused on finding solutions to real problems of people rather than expenditure. We should focus on efficiency of expenditure as a major goal.
On the occasion the Chief Secretary interacted with the PRI representatives, visiting Prabhari Officers, officers of line departments attending the meeting besides Numberdars, Chowkidars and the people assembled for attending this monthly convergence meeting. He asked from the representatives and village level workers about the functioning of Schools, Health Centres, Anganwadi Centres and other village institutions. He also took appraisals from them about different amenities like condition of roads, water, electricity and monthly ration provided to them. He even enquired from each of them about the status of Sports stadiums, online services and Door-to-Door collection of waste in their villages.
The Chief Secretary encouraged them to raise their grievances in these meetings for their resolution. He maintained that the UT has enough resources to meet the basic requirements of these villages. He directed for seamless connectivity of Numberdars/Chowkidars with higher authorities so that the real motive of ‘people first’ approach adopted by the LG Administration is implemented right from our villages.
Commissioner Secretary, RDD, Mandeep Kaur during this interaction stressed on holding this panchayat level convergence meeting each month without any fail. She also emphasized on framing the minutes for each of the meeting held and uploading the same over the JK Panchayat portal. She directed the Assistant Commissioners of Panchayats to consolidate these records for their concerned districts for onward submission to Administrative Office through Deputy Commissioners.
She told them to ensure the presence of the representative from each of the line department. She also took appraisal of the status of Panchayat Ghars in these villages and told the Panchayat Secretaries and Panchayat Accounts Assistants to work in coordination with each other for timely implementation of GPDPs on ground.
Some of the panchayats with whom the Chief Secretary interacted today virtually included Pinglish (Tral), Kuchhal-B (Kishtwar), Barda Kalan (Akhnoor), Tahab (Pulwama), Lasjan-B, Nowgam, Souteng (Srinagar), Upper Kud (Udhampur), Choon (Budgam) etc.
Pertinent to mention here that it was the first convergence meeting held across the panchayats of the UT for this financial year. The Chief Secretary has made it a regular feature to reach out to people at grassroots level for directly taking feedback from them about the working of administration and listening to their suggestions and grievances for making instant resolutions and passing on directions to the concerned officers for taking necessary action.