SRINAGAR As a part of the Governments endeavor to deliver good governance and come to the expectations of the people, Chief Secretary, Shri B V R Subrahmanyam has, on the directions of the Governor Shri N N Vohra, convened a series of marathon meetings over the past few days with the Administrative Secretaries to expedite implementation of key developmental and welfare programmes in the State and identify the grey areas.
The Governor has sought, a comprehensive brief from the Chief Secretary regarding the first set of the issues that have been picked up during these elementary meetings with the appropriate recommendations on how to initiate proactive action to expedite their implementation.
The Governments focus, of late, has been on reinforcing administrative discipline to infuse a sense of all-round urgency in bureaucracy and ensure timely, appropriate and tangible action on issues of public importance and their developmental concerns.
During these Administrative brainstorming sessions convened by the Chief Secretary, some of the critical areas that have come to the fore, in the first instance, for immediate and focused attention include payment of pension to the old age people, widows and physically challenged persons; upgradation of road communication network under PMGSY; effective implementation of Jhelum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP), improvement of power infrastructure, issues of border residents and relief distribution to migrants.
Regarding the issue of payment of pension by the Social Welfare Department, it was observed that there is a huge backlog of pension cases that needs to be paid to beneficiaries under various categories. These include pensions for old age people, widows and physically challenged persons. Currently, about 5.7 lac beneficiaries are getting pension and there is a pendency of about 2.15 lac cases. To ensure timely disbursement of pension among the beneficiaries, it was decided that a comprehensive exercise would be conducted to remove duplication through Aadhaar/Biometric verification and Finance Department would then consider providing funds for all the pending cases.
Regarding upgradation of road connectivity under PMGSY, it was observed that there are roads with a length of about 2400 Km from Phase III IX costing Rs 1500 crore which are yet to be completed. For Phase X-XII, with a road length of about 8000 Kms and costing Rs 7000 crore, Government of India has not provided funds for land acquisition as was done for earlier phases, which would cost additional Rs 1700 crore. It was accordingly decided that PWD would complete 1000 Km roads of earlier phases by October 2018 and the State Government would pursue with the Government of India provide funds for land acquisition.
Regarding JTFRP, it was observed that the project is languishing for the last 2 years with less than 1.2% expenditure. The completion date of the project is December 2020 and it is lagging behind the timelines. It was accordingly decided that there is a need to relook at the structure of JTFRP and, if necessary, merge it with ERA to expedite this important project.
Regarding improvement of power infrastructure, it was observed that Saubhagya which aims to provide electricity connections to all households in the State is lagging behind along with DDUGJY and RGGVY. It was accordingly agreed that these flagship projects would be expedited and all households in J&K would be provided with electricity connections by 31.12.2018. This would mean provision of 3.8 lakh fresh connections. As for UJALA, 14.00 lakh connections have been covered and 2.00 lakh left out. This would be completed by 31.08.2018. It was also agreed that all lamps used by street vendors would be converted to LED lamps beginning with 100 W lamps, which would save a lot of energy.
Regarding the issues of border residents, it was decided that Nodal Officers would be appointed at the State, Divisional and District level to accelerate implementation of schemes for border residents. It was further decided that Panning, Development & Monitoring Department would take a relook at BADP and restructure it with a long-term plan. It was further decided that the Home Department would work with Finance Department to streamline funds flow under the Victim Compensation Scheme.
Regarding issues of migrants, it was decided that an Additional Secretary would be designated as the Nodal Officer for migrants. It was further observed that there is a need to improve the funds flow mechanism both for relief payments and works for which Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DM&RRR) was asked to coordinate with the Finance Department to take necessary measures in this regard.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.