70 Union Ministers Arriving In J&K From Thursday

Srinagar: As a part of the government of India’s focussed attention on the development of Jammu and Kashmir, as many as 70 Union Ministers are likely to visit the Union Territory from Thursday to review various developmental works, besides, interacting with stakeholders over a period of nine weeks.

This was stated during a high-level meeting chaired by J&K Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta on Monday to review the progress of district plans besides ensuing visit of Union Ministers to Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesperson said.

He said Administrative Secretaries of departments of Finance, Health & Medical Education, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Industries & Commerce, Youth Services & Sports, School Education, Tribal Affairs, Tourism, besides Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, and all Deputy Commissioners participated in the meeting.

At the outset, the official spokesperson said, it was informed that as a part of the Government of India’s focussed attention on the development of Jammu and Kashmir, an outreach programme of Union Ministers will commence from 9th September 2021.

“As such, about 70 Union Ministers may be visiting the Union territory and reviewing various developmental works, besides, interacting with stakeholders over a period of 9 weeks,” he said.

He said that the Deputy Commissioners were directed to make arrangements for interactions of the visiting Ministers with members of PRIs/ULBs, various associations, self-help groups, youth clubs, and general public. Besides, they were also asked to include visits to iconic heritage sites and cultural programmes under ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ in the tour plan.

According to the official spokesperson, Mehta directed the Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners to submit district-wise progress of works identified during the ‘Back to Village’ programmes in addition to the achievements under district plans for appraisal of the visiting ministers.

“It was further directed that brief notes on various issues, bottlenecks, achievements and future strategies be also provided to the VIPs during the tour,” he said.

“The CS also reviewed the progress under district plans and observed that the Government has recently announced various initiatives to address bottlenecks in the execution of projects,” he added.

As per the official spokesperson, the Chief Secretary was apprised about the current status of district-wise tendered works.

Showing concern on the slow pace of progress in a few districts, he said, Mehta directed expeditious tendering of identified works and cautioned against any further delay keeping in consideration the limited working season in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Moreover, directions were also issued to the senior functionaries for immediate resolution of any residual issue related to tendering of works including consequential orders on delegation of powers,” he said.

He further said that the Chief Secretary also reviewed the implementation of the Forest Rights Act.

“District administrations were asked to process the cases for vesting of rights on Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers in a time-bound manner. They were also directed to take up conservation of water bodies for implementing directions of the National Green Tribunal,” he added.

Regarding the iconic week celebration under ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ from 23rd -29th October 2021, the official spokesperson said that Mehta directed the district administrations to ensure maximum participation in various cultural activities and mega-events being organized under the aegis of Culture Department.

“It was informed that in response to various representations from education institutions quoting improved COVID situation, the Government has allowed reopening of schools and resumption of classroom teaching for 10th and 12th students on half the capacity,” he said.

“The Health Department was asked to regularly conduct RAT tests of school-going children. The School Education Department was asked to remain vigilant to any signs of infection and its spread in schools,” he added.

MPs Panel Begins 3-Day Tour Of J&K

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare on Monday began a three-day study tour of Jammu and Kashmir, visiting various medical facilities and interacting with doctors, paramedics and patients, officials said.

The committee would meet several stakeholders to receive feedback on the subject matters of implementation of Ayushman Bharat, mental health in contemporary times, medical devices, regulation and control, affordability of cancer treatment and vaccine development, distribution, management and mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic, an official spokesman said.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee, headed by Ram Gopal Yadav, includes members from both houses of Parliament.

The committee on Monday visited Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar where it was briefed about the functioning of the college and its eight associated hospitals across the Kashmir division, the spokesman said.

At the outset, Principal GMC Srinagar, Prof Samia Rashid gave an elaborative presentation over the functioning of the college and its associated hospitals, he added.

The committee members were briefed about the academic activities, specialties available at the hospitals, besides work done in the past three years especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the spokesman said.

The committee was informed about the up-gradation of the hospital since the last two years which included surgical intensive care unit (SICU), operation theatres, specialised equipment, Cath Lab, ECHO facilities, kidney transplant and additional oxygen, he said.

The principal gave an overview about the beneficiaries and patients being treated under AB-PMJAY Sehat Scheme in GMC and its associated hospitals, cancer treatment and other components with respect to patient care, equipment, manpower etc, the spokesman said.

The committee members were also briefed about the ongoing up-gradation of infrastructure and equipment and they were informed that the GMC has taken the construction of 500-bedded maternity-cum-children hospital at Bemina Srinagar, Model Rural Health Research Center of GMC Srinagar at Khag Budgam, construction of a nursing college, besides construction of OPD block at Super Specialty Hospital Srinagar, he said.

While deliberating upon the healthcare facilities and patient care, the Parliamentary Standing Committee said the objective of its visit was to seek suggestions and recommendations, the spokesman said.

The committee also visited Primary Health Center in Chanapora, Srinagar and inspected the health facility there.

On the occasion, the members interacted with doctors, paramedics and patients while enquiring about the facilities being provided there, the spokesman said.

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