Rural empowerment key to State’s development: Mehbooba

CM inaugurates 152 Panchayat Ghars of Jammu division

Terming village as a basic parameter of gauging the prosperity of a State, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today said that rural empowerment is key to the development of Jammu & Kashmir.

Addressing a gathering at Baran village in Balwal block here today after inaugurating 152 Panchayat Ghars of Jammu division electronically, the Chief Minister said it is her wish to develop villages as complete units of governance under Panchayati Raj. She said the development of the State is incomplete without the development of villages.

Mehbooba Mufti said her Government intends to empower Panchayats substantially so that democracy and development is taken to people deep in villages. She said the Panchs and Sarpanchs after the Panchayat elections would be empowered enough so that they are able to resolve village issues at their level rather than taking them to district and secretariat levels.

The Chief Minister hoped that these 152 Panchayat Ghars, which have been built over a cost of Rs 31 crore, would be used as community assets in villages for extending IT facilities and other welfare programmes to people besides functioning as centres of local governance.

Responding to the local demands, the Chief Minister said to address the drinking and irrigation water needs of the area, feasibility of Chenab lift water supply scheme would be examined. She directed the Rural Development Department to undertake revival and cleaning of all ponds in the area to enhance their water harvesting capacity and improve the water table of the area.

Mehbooba Mufti also directed that the smart classrooms in schools be made available to the people of the area after 4 pm to impart computer training to them. She also directed utilization of Panchayat Ghars for extending computer literacy and IT enabled services to people of the catchment areas.

Earlier, in his address, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh said the present Government has vowed to unite people and regions by unleashing a developmental revolution all across the State.  He said Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti have resolved to take Jammu & Kashmir towards a better and bright future.

Minister for Rural Development Department, Abdul Haq in his address said the present Government under the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti has taken a huge developmental initiative which is set to transform the profile of the State.

Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Baghat also addressed the gathering.

Vice Chairman, J&K Kissan Board, Daljit Singh Chib, officers of divisional administration and people of the area were also present on the occasion.