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21-day Back to Village campaign: J&K Govt issues guidelines for public awareness



BK News

Srinagar, Sept 8: Jammu and Kashmir Government today issued detailed guidelines for effective implementation of Jan Abhiyan starting across the UT from September 10, 2020 – twenty one days ahead of the Back to Village phase III programme.

As per an order issued by GAD, the twenty one day public campaign will broadly focus on three essential components viz delivery of essential services, development needs & grievance redressal.

“The B2V3 shall be preceded by a buildup of 21 day Jan Abhyan/ Awami Muhim, which includes implementation of its three essential components viz; Adhikar Abhiyan/ Muhim Barai-e-Haqooq, Unnat  Gram  Abhiyan/ Dehi  Taraqiyati   Muhim and the Jan Sunwai Abhiyan/Awami Sunwai Muhim” the order stated.

The Adhikar Abhiyan or the Muhim Barai-e-Haqooq provisions that the district administration shall identify the target population for every service, individual beneficiary schemes and various certificates in order to ensure that 100% of target population is covered.

Special camps shall be held for the purpose at District/Sub-division/Tehsil/Block/GP Levels. The services to be provided shall include (but not be limited to) issuance of Domicile, SC, ST, RBA, ALC, OBC certificates, Pensions, scholarships, Aadhar cards, KCC, Gold Cards, 3K health Scheme Cards, MGNREGA wage payments, PMAY sanctions and PMKISAN, Labour Cards, PM Matrutva Vandana Yojana, Ladli Beti, Construction Workers’ Welfare Board benefits etc; MVD services like driving license, registrations etc; Any other important public oriented  scheme  or services to be covered such as revenue documents which a Deputy Commissioner may consider doable.

For students, provision of SC/ST/Other Certificates and application for scholarships shall be 100 percent. No child should be left out.

Detailed report regarding the target population and the coverage with specific emphasis on achievements during JAN ABHIYAN/AWAMI MUHIM period shall be prepared and handed over to the visiting officer before B2V3.

Unnat  Gram  Abhiyan/Dehi  Taraqiyati   Muhim  aims for a mega push towards development activities by taking up of maximum possible MGNREGA works on ground, commencement of works already approved under the 14th FC plan, execution of District & UT plan works and also implementation of other Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

The main components would be 14th FC works and their payment; MGNREGA works and their payment; B2V works and their payment; CSS/ PMDP/ District Plan/ State Plan works and payments; PMAY payments and completion of houses Special thrust shall be laid on follow up of B2V1 and B2V2 for each panchayat which may include; Taking up, completion and payment of at least two priority works identified during the two earlier phases for which money shall be separately released to the districts; Closing all complaints/ problems/ administrative issues raised during the earlier phases satisfactorily; Ensuring long term activities are prioritised and accommodated under UT plan/ CSS by concerned administrative department; Preparation of an ATR regarding the B2V1 & B2V2 based on the above; Panchayat wise format for ATR mentioning Problems, Public Requirements and Complaints for earlier two phases.

Each Deputy Commissioner shall prepare a district level plan based on an activity or product such as dairy, horticulture, tourism, village industry, mining which will boost economic activity or income levels in the district. This shall be a private sector lead activity with very limited government intervention and little or no financial support by the government.

The Jan Sunwai Abhiyan or Awami Sunwai Muhim will focus  on to improve service delivery and redressal of public grievances by getting together all functionaries at pre-determined times and places and under the supervision of a senior officer.

The Deputy Commissioner and senior District Officers shall draw up tour rosters to ensure that each and every block is visited by Deputy Commissioner alongwith the District Superintendent of Police personally and at least one more senior officer (other than Nodal Officer) over the three week Jan Abhiyan/Awani Muhim Period.

Youm-e-BIock/ Block Diwas shall be held on the three Wednesdays i.e. 16th, 23rd & 30th of September, 2020, falling in the period of Jan Abhiyan/Awani Muhim.

The Youm-e-Block/ Block Diwas shall focus at on the spot redressal of grievances and providing of services. Concerned Block Level Officers/Officials of each Department shall be present at the designated location for the purpose.

Meanwhile, the order states that “All the Administrative Secretaries shall visit their allocated district atleast once during Jan Abhiyan/Awami Muhim and issue directions to the concerned field staff to participate actively in all its activities.

The Administrative Secretaries/HoDs shall not call field officers/officials from subordinate offices during the period of Jan Abhiyan/Awami Muhim and B2V3.

All the Deputy Commissioners/HoDs and other Officers shall conduct extensive field tours during the Jan Abhiyan/Awami Muhim phase and ensure that the services listed above as part of the three components are provided to public. They shall ensure that necessary steps for their implementation are taken well before the formal commencement of the B2V3.

All complaints received and administrative issues raised during B2V1 and B2V2 and those received during Youm-e- Block/Block Diwas shall be resolved, to the extent possible if they include issues like- shortage of staff in schools, offices, health institutions; Absence of staff; Lack of transportation; Complaints against a particular employee.

The complaints will also be entered in the new Public Grievance System being launched on 10.09.2020.

The Deputy Commissioners shall nominate a senior district officer as nodal Officer incharge of each location for the celebration of Youm-e-Block/Block Diwas Celebrations. The Nodal Officers shall ensure availability of all officers and monitor disposal of all grievances and demands. The locations of the Youm-e-Block/Block Diwas Celebrations shall be notified and widely publicized.

The Concerned Officers of all the Departments shall remain available at Block headquarters or a place designated for the purpose by the Deputy Commissioner for on spot redressal of the public grievances. The field staff shall spent atleast a night in the field in connection with the Youm-e-Block/Block Diwas.

The Deputy Commissioners shall devise mechanisms for disposal/redressal of grievances in consultation with the District Level Officers of the Departments and communicate the same to Nodal Officers/Coordinators in advance.

The Nodal Officer shall submit a Gram Panchayat wise status report of action taken in respect of grievances and demands putforth by the general public during the Jan Abhiyan/Awami Muhim. The Deputy Commissioner shall further ensure that the report is made available to the visiting officer as part of his set of document for B2V3.

The visiting officers of the B2V2 shall informally visit the Panchayats allocated to them and shall take stock of the developmental scenario alongwith the status of disposal of grievances registered during B2V2 and record their observations.

The Deputy Commissioner shall ensure that feedback is taken from the visiting officers on their informal visit to the allocated Panchayats, meetings with the Secretary Incharge (Prabhari) are arranged alongwith training for visiting officers at district level.

The Deputy Commissioners shall ensure IEC activities highlighting the importance of the Jan Abhiyan/Awami Muhim as a build up to the B2V3 are undertaken through print, electronic and social media.

The Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police concerned shall attend to pubic grievances every Tuesday & Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. during the Jan Abhiyan/Awami Muhim.

The Deputy Commissioners shall attend to Public Grievances on a five day a week schedule from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (except Wednesdays earmarked for Youm-e-BIock/ Block Divas celebrations).

All the District Officers shall remain available in their offices to assist the Deputy Commissioners in disposing these grievances.

No leaves except on the grounds of medical exigencies shall be sanctioned during the period of Jan Abhiyan/Awami Muhim.

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Levying property tax for creation of better infrastructure: SMC Commissioner



Levying property tax

BK News

Srinagar, Feb 24: Implementation of Smart City projects or levying of property tax is for creating better facilities and infrastructure for the people, Srinagar Municipal Commissioner, Athar Aamir Khan said on Thursday in a function held by PHD Chamber of Commerce Kashmir Chapter here.

Khan, according to a statement issued by the PHD Chamber, said that the property tax is progressive and has been devised keeping in view the social and economic aspects. The rates imposed are very nominal compared to other municipal corporations of country and with special exemptions for poor and marginalised, he added.

Khan was speaking as a special invitee to the core group meeting of the PHD Chamber, according the statement.

An engaged civil society is a vehicle for people participating in the development and implementation of government policies and programs, he said, while throwing light on various verticals and aspects of Srinagar Smart City.

Levying property taxEarlier Vicky Shaw Chair PHD Chamber Kashmir  fully supported the CEO Srinagar Smart City for the mammoth task of reshaping the whole city under Srinagar smart City Project and assured the Commissioner  that the PHD Chamber will outreach  in coordination with government to make people aware about the reforms and developments that are being implemented by the government at various levels. In his speech he welcomed the Chief Guest and core group members  and apprised everyone about PHDCCI, the 117 years old National Chamber’s  activities and latest developments since he took over as chair of Kashmir Chapter. He further commented about extending full support to the government  based on integrity and faithfulness. Shaw  also sought everybody’s view as to how best to further strengthen the PHDCCI Kashmir   which has already caught the imagination of the masses and the youth of J&K. He said, the team   is spearheading it but at the same time we have to devise a strategy to work in conjunction to cooperate with the central and UT government and other government agencies to remove some of the barriers to trade and business and we have to assist in the policy-making to ensure that all interests are looked after.

The meeting was attended by immediate former Chair Kashmir- Baldev Singh Raina and core members Himayu wani, Nasir Shah, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Pervaiz Qalander, Haleem Bhat,  Owais Raja, Ubair Shah, Adnan Shah, Sajid Nazir Shah and Iqbal Fayaz Jan  Deputy Director PHDCCI J&K. The members  discussed various economic and social issues in threadbare. The members decided to devise a strategy and will help the youth and existing industry to diversify in new business with latest technology and avenues which remains unexplored in this part of the world.

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Land acquisition process for NH-444 in Shopian reviewed



Land acquisition for NH-444 in Shopian

BK News

Srinagar: Deputy Commissioner Shopian Sachin Kumar Vaishya Tuesday held a meeting to review the land acquisition process for NH-444 within the stipulated time frame in the district. 

The National Highway-444 is an alternate highway to NH-44. It starts at Qazigund in Jammu and Kashmir and ends in Srinagar, passing via district Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama

The meeting held a detailed review of the present status of the land acquisition process and discussed the steps required for removing the bottlenecks for the timely completion of the process. 

He advised all the concerned officers to complete the land acquisition process for NH-444 in Shopian within a few days. 

Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mushtaq Ahmad Simnani; Assistant commissioner Revenue, Shahbaz Ahmad Bodha; Tehsildar Shopian, LDM, Executive Engineer R&B 1st Division Srinagar, Naib Tehsildars and other concerned officers attended the meeting.

The general public in the twin districts of Shopian and Kulgam have requested the administration for completing the demarcation of the land for the national highway at the earliest, as the ambiguity of road tracts at certain places is creating confusion among them.  

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Srinagar roads unfriendly for pedestrians 



Srinagar roads unfriendly for pedestrians 

Lack of footpaths, walkways makes it dangerous for people to move around in the city.

As the vehicular traffic in the Srinagar roads has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the last few years, it is becoming extremely dangerous for pedestrians to move around in the city. On the one side, fast-moving traffic is making it life-threatening to cross the roads and streets, while on the other side, illegal encroachment of footpaths, walkways is pushing back foot-travellers to walk alongside the cars and motorcycles on transport tracks at great risk to their lives.

When there are no legal provisions for protecting pedestrians and their movement, our government and policymakers do not plan safe passages, neither there are proper crossing points in their road designs. Existing footpaths and crossing points are ill-planned and without any zebra crossing signs. As on-street parking takes precedence over pedestrian infrastructure like paved sidewalks in our city planning, space for pedestrian movement is shrinking fast on the city roads. It is a dangerous trend for a city that homes more than two million people, is touted as a metropolis, and projected as a key tourist destination.

Modern cities are not only pedestrian-friendly, but they take special care of the needs of children and old age people. People with disabilities, especially those with mobility issues, face a hard time moving around in Srinagar city. There is no way that one can push around a wheelchair or a pram.

Pedestrian right of way needs to be the priority of any road planning in the city, but it is otherwise here.

Most of the existing footpaths – as the pavements or sidewalks are named here – are narrow or full of obstacles making them unfit for public use. There is no uniformity. At some places, these footpaths are so high that they look like a supporting bund or retention wall. At many junctions, they lack connectivity with each other. Electricity poles, TV and telecommunication cable poles, billboards, even city beautification lights and trees are installed, in such a way, that these footpaths automatically become unusable.   

While traffic lights have been installed at many major traffic junctions in the city from time to time, but most of them are not made functional due to unknown reasons. There are no pedestrian crossing arrangements at these traffic crossing points. Even vehicular blockades are laid without keeping into consideration foot travellers. Take the example of Jehangir Chowk – Exhibition Ground junction, which witnesses heavy traffic throughout the day. As there is no system to stop the traffic, to let the pedestrians cross, it is extremely difficult for the people on foot to cross the congested junction. (These issues cannot be overcome by painting the pillars of the overhead bridge.)

The same is the case ahead of Badshah Bridge near the Maisuma-Koker Bazaar crossing. People keep crossing in moving traffic, mostly at great risk to their life and safety. In fact, there are no designated pedestrian crossing points in the entire Srinagar city.  

While the administration keeps saying that Srinagar will be developed into a world-class ‘smart city’, they should note that it is not possible by allowing haphazard and unplanned constructions by both the private sector and the government agencies. 

Modern cities are not only pedestrian-friendly, but they take special care of the needs of children and old age people. People with disabilities, especially those with mobility issues, face a hard time moving around in Srinagar city. There is no way that one can push around a wheelchair or a pram.

To make Srinagar a modern city, its roads not only need redesign but more focus must be given to footpaths, sidewalks, bicycle tracks and sophisticated public transport. That is doable within the available resources.

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