POONCH: Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, who’s also Secretary In-charge for developmental works and other related matters for District Poonch held a day-long interaction with District Development Council, Poonch for finalisation of District Plan and other developmental projects as well as public issues. In view of several public demands Rs 23.85 Cr additional grant was approved for utilisation which include projects in youth engagement, sports infrastructure, power/water supply and healthcare among other sectors.
Chairperson, District Development Council Poonch, Tazeem Akhter, Vice-Chairperson Mohammad Ishfaq, Deputy Commissioner, Inder Jeet, Director Tribal Affairs, Musheer Ahmed Mirza, Members of District Development Council, Chairpersons of Block Development Council, SSP Poonch Vinod Jarangal, Superintending Engineers, District & Sectoral officers were present in the meeting which held detailed discussion on proposed district plan and a host of public issues as well as demands.
Deliberations were held on sectoral outlays and works programme for rural development, power, water supply , roads, irrigation, education, welfare schemes, sports, agriculture and livestock husbandry among other sectors. Members also demanded opening of Mughal road.
Dr Shahid emphasised on administrative support to District Development Council including DDC members and BDC Chairpersons for efficient and outcome based planning process and their active involvement in all the stages in Plan formulation as well monitoring of projects for targeted completion and achieving desired outcomes. He appreciated the DDC members and BDC Chairpersons for their outstanding role in formulation of works programme, inter-sectoral coordination, and unanimity of approach in larger public interest and developmental issues which is hallmark for an outstanding and evolved democratic institution. He complimented the members for their innovative and public friendly suggestions and plans projected during the meeting.
While seeking cooperation of elected members of PRIs for efficient and constructive youth engagement in District Poonch, Dr Shahid announced sanction of Rs 10 Cr grant for youth engagement including creation of infrastructure, recreation facilities, sports equipment and construction of sports grounds among other components. He asked DDC members / BDC Chairpersons to formulate a comprehensive youth engagement plan for Rs 10 Cr with help of concerned departments and stakeholders, for which immediate funding will be released. Constitution of sports clubs in Urban and Rural areas was emphasised apart from regular sports activities and online as well as offline engagement.
Further, an amount of Rs 10 Cr was granted for development of vital infrastructure in remote areas to augment facilities like healthcare, water supply, power supply, rural connectivity and other sectors. PRIs were asked to formulate the plans in a week for which funds will be released for early execution. Director Tribal Affairs will coordinate with District Administrative and DDC for DPR formulation and release of funds for early execution.
In a major relief for strengthening the transformer replacement regime Rs 1 Cr additional grant was sanctioned for creation of a transformer bank at Poonch which will reduce the replacement time in cases of damaged transformers. In view of demand raised for a workshop for medical sector in Mendhar Dr Shahid sanctioned additional Rs 35 Lakh for repair of machinery at Mendhar to reduce the replacement time and mitigate public suffering.
An important outcome of interaction was finalisation of a mechanism for collective efforts in education sector by DDC members / BDC Chairpersons along with District Administration to be funded by Tribal Affairs Department for development of both infrastructure and quality of education in remote areas with focus on primary education. All 25 members of District Development Council will select one school as mentors and work with staff, students and parents for quality education and best infrastructure. Each member will be provided a grant of Rs 10 Lakh per school. Rs 2.50 Cr grant will be provided by Tribal Affairs Deptt for this initiative which will go a long way in strengthening primary education.
Dr Shahid asked the Deputy Commissioner Poonch to earmark and propose two locations with land measuring 100 Kanals in Poonch and Surankote blocks for establishment of Model Residential Schools by Tribal Affairs Department at an estimated cost of Rs 32 Cr. DDC members were asked for active coordination as members of the committee. Govt will provide more than Rs. one Lakh per student annually for educational and boarding expenses.
In view of several public demand discussed in the meeting it was decided that 5 new ambulances with advanced life support system will be provided for remote areas, formulation of DPR for Trauma Hospital, establishment of new hostels, model schools and other initiatives to boost infrastructure and socio-economic landscape in the district. Several other developmental projects were discussed in the meeting and roadmap finalised for coordinated efforts to be made for achieving the proposed milestones.
The DDC members and BDC Chairpersons appreciated the move regarding approval of funding for youth engagement and sports infrastructure, development in tribal areas, key infrastructure in health and power / water supply sectors in addition to annual Plan.