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Preparations on to conduct Panchayat polls in March 17: Abdul Haq

Govt committed to devolve more powers to Panchayats

SAMBA, JANUARY 29: Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice, Abdul Haq said preparations for holding Panchayat elections in March this year are on.

The Minister, during his visit to Samba here today, said that the government is committed to empower Panchayats with more powers to ensure that these vital units are optimally utilized for development.

Abdul Haq said the prime concern of the government is to strengthen the democracy at grassroots level through electoral process. He further said the Panchayats and Gram Sabhas act like mini Parliaments in rural areas and people of these areas are responsible for development works to be taken up in their respective villages. He said the Panchayats play a vibrant role in effective execution of the developmental programmes by taking advantage of the flagship schemes like MGNREGA and other centrally and state sponsored schemes.

The Minister said he has already passed directions to the officials to take Gram Sabhas seriously and the people now participate in Gram Sabhas thus in decision making process.

At Samba, the Minister took stock of development activities being carried out in Sangwali village under Sansad Adarash Gram Yojana (SAGY) besides inspecting Rain Water Harvesting Plant and Badminton court at Government School and a culvert at the village.

The Minister asked the officers to make Sangwali village Open Defecation Free by March end as it is being developed as a SAGY village. He said SAGY envisages holistic development of a Gram Panchayat adopted by Member Parliament (MP). He directed the officials for a proper technical study before initiating work so that durable assets are created and the funds are used judicially.

At Tapyal village, the Minister inspected playground and  mini-stadium being constructed by the Rural Development Department under MGNREGA. He directed officials to expedite work on the project for its timely completion.

Abdul Haq asked the Gram Rozgar Sevaks (GRS) to identify the deserving unemployed youth in each village so that they can benefit from MGNREGA. He said involving the unemployed youth in fruitful and remunerative activities would not only help in income generation but also keep them away from anti-social activities like the menacing drug abuse.

Later, the Minister addressed a public meeting at Jatwal and stressed on the people to act as eyes and ears of the government by keeping watch on the developmental activities taking place in their village. He asked them to activity participate in the decision making process by taking part in Gram Sabhas.

MLA Hiranagar, Kuldeep Raj, while speaking on the occasion, sought public cooperation for effective execution of the works.

The Minister also visited Rajpura block of Samba district and inspected under construction development projects.

Responding to people’s demand, the Minister directed for construction of an approach road to Shamshaan Ghat and cremation shed at Rajpura under MGNREGA at the earliest.

The Minister was accompanied by Director RDD Jammu, Pradeep Kumar, CEO IWMP Abdul Rashid Inquilabi, ACD Samba Sushil Attri , DPO Samba Aijaz Qaiser, Program Officer IWMP Sunil Sharma and SDM Ghagwal Narayan Dutt Sharma.