Machil/Kupwara/Srinagar, September 12 (Scoop News)- As a part of his decentralization policy and commitment to take government at the doorsteps of people, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday chaired the Jammu and Kashmir State Cabinet meeting at Machil, the remotest village in hilly district of Kupwara in Northern Kashmir.
The holding of State Cabinet meeting in remote areas is aimed at ascertaining the problems confronting people in these areas and taking first hand appraisal of development needs. This also provides opportunity to the Cabinet Ministers and top brass in the Administration to interact with people and have personal assessment of the problems and requirements in these areas.
The Chief Minister during this summer also chaired a State Cabinet meeting in Tangdar Karnah and took area specific decisions for the holistic development of the area. He has chalked out a schedule of holding Cabinet meetings in different remote and far-flung areas of the State and today’s meeting is a part of this programme.
Besides discussing development issues of Machil and issuing directions on various matters of urgent public need in the area, the Chief Minister held district officers meeting, visited various pockets, interacted with people, received appraisal of development and talked to Panches, Sarpanches and local representatives and addressed largely attended public meeting.
Addressing the people, the Chief Minister said that reaching out to every area is the guiding principle in the development process launched by his government across the State aiming at equitable and all round development of all the regions and sub-regions of the State. He said special focus is on the fast development of remote and backward pockets of the State besides weaker sections of the society.
The Chief Minister said that public empowerment to ensure area specific development and involve people’s representatives in decision making at grass roots level through Panchayat Raj system has already began. "We have conducted panchayat elections after a period of about 30 years. We have empowered these ground level institutions so that these are able to make decisions and launch public welfare schemes in their areas", he said adding that 3-tier Panchayat Raj is his government’s endeavour and all decks have been cleared to hold Block Panchayat Council elections in the State this year.
Omar Abdullah apprised the people about the historic Public Service Guarantee Act enacted and implemented by his government to make public service delivery time bound. He told the people that if they will not receive the prescribed service within the prescribed time limit, the erring officials will be fined up to Rs. 5000 and a part of that fine is paid to the affected consumer.
The Chief Minister asked the people to take best advantage of this path breaking initiative of the government and demand public service from the departments of Power, PHE, CAPD, Revenue, Housing, Transport, etc in a prescribed time limit fixed for the delivery of each service.
The Chief Minister said that road communication in far-flung areas and linking these with main highways has been flagged as one of the most important sectors alongwith enhancing and upgrading drinking water supply and supply of electricity, health care and educational facilities.
Referring to the development of Machil Omar Abdullah said that bad pockets development fund has been raised this year to 52 lakhs from 26 lakhs last year for the execution of special projects in Machil. He said that he has directed Border Roads Organization for early completion of ongoing road projects in the area.
Various Ministers accompanying the Chief Minister also addressed the public meeting.
The Chief Minister inaugurated 1×21.34 meter span steel deck bridge on kilometer 1st of Machil Poshwari road constructed at a cost of about Rs. 72 lakhs. The bridge will be highly beneficial for the people not only for communication but for the economic activities. It will link up villages and help development process.
Omar Abdullah also inaugurated Administrative Block at Machil for the offices. This has provided adequate official accommodation to the government functionaries working in Machil.
The Chief Minister laid foundation of Staff Quarters for government employees at Machil and laid stone for a Rest House at Dudi about three kilometers from Machil. He also inspected Labour Room at PHC Dudi.
Taking appraisal of development works under implementation in Machil and other parts of Kupwara district at a meeting of district officers here, the Chief Minister asked the officers to ensure hassle-free public service to the people in remote areas and be at their beck and call especially during the winter months when maximum areas get cut-off due to heavy snow.
The Chief Minister told the officers that the people in remote pockets require all the more attention as the government is only means to them for getting necessary succor particularly in the hour of need. He said availability and distribution of essential commodities and domestic fuel should receive priority. "District Administration should monitor the distribution regularly ensuring that the people are receiving supplies without any difficulty", he said stressing on raising buffers of essential commodities for winter months.
Omar Abdullah also underlined the necessity of upgrading basic amenities and improving health care service in the area. He underscored the need for dovetailing efforts and funds available under various schemes to help holistic and comprehensive development of the area.