Continuing his public outreach programme, the Governor N.N. Vohra visited the frontier district of Kupwara to review the pace of developmental works in the district. Immediately after landing, he held a detailed interaction with the elected representatives – MPs, MLAs and MLCs. During their interactions with the Governor, the elected representatives raised several issues of public importance, most of which related to scarcity of drinking water in the district, long delays in starting works under Centrally Sponsored Schemes of the Power Development Department, liabilities under MGNREGA and Swach Bharat Mission and the need to expeditiously complete several long-languishing projects. The Legislators requested Governor to issue instructions to all the field functionaries to accelerate the pace of development works so that the public at large could be benefitted.
Governor gave a patient hearing to the elected representatives and mentioned that the purpose of his visit was to obtain first-hand feedback from the ground and take all required correctives to speed up the pace of the development process on the ground. He took special note of water scarcity raised by a number of Legislators. On being informed that nearly 50% habitations in the district suffered from some inadequacy of water, he directed the District Development Commissioner, Sh. Khalid Jahangir, to urgently identify water availability in the district and propose schemes to fully cover all uncovered or insufficiently covered habitations. He also advised the District Development Commissioner to make use of the additional allocation provided under NABARD loan this year to propose critical projects to enhance water supply so that the pressing demands could be immediately addressed.
Governor later chaired a meeting of State, Divisional and District officers in which he reviewed the progress of all development works in the district. The District Development Commissioner made a presentation in which he highlighted the progress achieved in the past year and the targets fixed for the current year. He informed the meeting that while over 200 Km of linear road length had been blacktopped in the previous year, in the current year, a total of 28 large road projects costing over Rs.200 crores were at various stages of execution in the district. He also brought out the state of progress under the various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, particularly MGNREGA, Swach Bharat Mission and Mission Indradhanush. He highlighted that district Kupwara had already achieved ODF status by constructing 7000 toilet complexes in the current year alone. Governor complimented the District Administration on this significant achievement and emphasized that the sustainability of the ODF status was an equally important activity. He directed the DDC to urgently get physical verification and geotagging done of the assets and use all the communication and publicity machinery at his disposal to spread the message of Swach Bharat Mission among the public at large.
While reviewing the status of power availability and ongoing projects in the district Governor noted that a number of projects under Centrally Sponsored Schemes had yet to commence owing to various contractual and other issues. He was informed that all tendering and contractual issues have now been resolved and work would be started within a period of one month. While reviewing the progress of MGNREGA, Governor noted that activity under the scheme had been used for completing 37 playfields last year and 57 playfields were in progress in the current year. He directed DDC to draw up a cogent action plan to ensure that available resources were effectively utilized for water conservation and to develop playfields in every village. In view of the water inadequacy in the district Governor directed DDC to take all steps to harvest water and all schemes, including MGNREGA, should be converged towards this objective.
The meeting was informed that after considerable delay land for Krishi Vigyan Kendras had been identified at Kupwara, Kulangan and Uripora. Governor advised the District Agriculture Officer and the representative of SKUAST, Srinagar to undertake meaningful extension activities and ensure that the University and the Agriculture Department expeditiously set up nurseries so that senile Walnut and other plantations are replaced. DDC also explained the activities undertaken under the Border Area Development Programme, Tribal Sub Plan and the Skill Development Centres for Shawl Weaving.
In his concluding remarks the Governor directed all the Divisional and District officers to work systematically and ensure that all developmental works are completed within the available time and without any financial overrun. He also ordered the Commissioner Planning Department to release an additional Rs.5.00 crore to the DDC including Rs.1.00 crore to be used by DDC as an untied grant, for accelerating and completing the ongoing works. He directed DDC to urgently monitor the progress of all ongoing works and send monthly progress reports to the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department.
Regarding the languishing projects in the district Governor directed the Planning Department to urgently propose what best could be done to accelerate execution of these works and directed the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that all staff, including field staff, strictly attended to their duties and action is initiated against all cases of absenteeism.