BUILDING SMART CAPITALS
Stressing on timely completion of the Smart City Projects in twin capitals of Jammu & Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha passed specific directions to the concerned officers for completion of the projects within the set timelines without any delay. Chairing a high-level review meeting of administrative secretaries, experts on Smart City Projects, and other stakeholders, LG Sinha said these ambitious projects will transform Jammu and Srinagar into modern, sustainable, and economically vibrant cities. Calling for exploring every possibility to achieve the desired results, he advised officers to apply the learning gained from the experience of the officers of Smart City Ahmedabad Development Ltd during the implementation phase for various smart city initiatives. Besides, he also stressed the necessity of proper inter-departmental coordination and also directed the officers to get better exposure and understanding of different aspects of Smart City projects. On the development of Tawi River Front, the experts from Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Ltd were taken on board who explained the challenges and best practices adopted during the development of Sabarmati Riverfront at Ahmedabad and drew parallels between the Tawi River Front project. The meeting was attended by Advisor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, Principal Secretary to LG Nitishwar Kumar, concerned Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioners, Jammu, and Kashmir; IGPs Jammu and Kashmir; Deputy Commissioners, Jammu, and Srinagar; Commissioners, Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporations and other senior officers.
BACK TO SCHOOL
As the Coronavirus pandemic compelled authorities to shut educational institutions for nearly 10 months, the schools for the senior classes in the summer zone of the Jammu division reopened last week, finally. Initially, the resumption of formal classes has taken place from Class 9th to 12th standard. The order to open the schools by the administration was taken after taking various factors into account and due deliberation. Strict instructions have been passed to follow the Covid-19 standard operating procedure. On the first day, the students were welcomed by one and all with warm wishes in their schools and gifted with sanitisers and masks, besides advising them to follow the proper protocol. Out from their homes after a long time, students were seen happy, interacting with their friends and teachers. The scenes were emotional and enthusiasm was all over. However, the colleges in the Jammu division have also started classwork from February 1, while in Kashmir the colleges are slated to open from February 15. The government has put in all the safety SOPs in place for the students and teachers to follow.
REVITALIZING RURAL ECONOMY
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has pegged J&K’s credit potential at Rs 35583 crore sets for FY 2021-22. In a seminar, the NABARD presented a paper titled “Collectivization of Agricultural Produce for Enhancing Farmer’s Income” which estimates the total credit potential to priority sectors in J&K at Rs 35583.25 crore. NABARD is rolling out a package of Rs 25991 crore for Jammu and Kashmir for next 5 years as accepted by the Government of India. By lending and upgrading the priority sectors like agriculture, handloom, handicrafts NABARD will make the rural economy vibrant and sustainable. The Focus paper presented the potential linked credit estimates for various sub-sectors of priority sector which inter alia included Rs 20697.23 crore for agriculture and Rs 10817.82 crore for MSME segment for the year 2021-22. Presentations on NABARD initiatives in J&K reflecting the impact of various projects was given by DGM, NABARD while representatives of NGOs presented the impact of NABARD aided FPOs in both the divisions of J&K.
Strengthening Panchayat Raj System
In an attempt to expose the grass root leaders to the best practices in the country, the secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department, Sheetal Nanda flagged off a batch of 40 Sarpanches of different districts from Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir to Rajasthan on five days training cum exposure tour. The initiative, as revealed by secretary of the department is to make Sarpanches interact with the beacon leaders and learn about the implementation of the flagship scheme in other parts of the country.The training, as per the officials is aimed at making rural local bodies self reliant so that they take innovative initiatives and develop their Panchayats in all spheres not only in respect of physical infrastructure but also social and economic fields. After this first batch’s visit continuous camps to various States at regular intervals will be held. Earlier in January, February and December last year, Sarpanches from J&K were sent to Pune and Uttrakhand for field exposure tours. During the visit, the Sarpanches shall be exposed to various activities being carried out including Solid Liquid Waste Management, generation of Own Source Revenue, Preparation of Budget, Integration of labour budget under MGNREGA with GPDP and SDGs, Integration of Panchayat Development plans at various tiers, Panchayat Enterprise Suit applications etc.
Fight Against Polio
Crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease, Polio has no cure. As vaccination is the only way to protect and stop the spread, the campaign for intensive Pulse Polio Immunization was held across all the districts of the Kashmir Division. The program was aimed at administering Polio drops to the children in the age group of 0-5 years and protect them from the disease. As per the figures revealed, in Anantnag, spread over 650 centres, 146152 children were administered the drops. Besides, 14 transit booths were established in the district for the effective and successful implementation of the programme. In central Kashmir’s Budgam, 107761 children were administered drops at 622 booths with 2488 staff members including Health Workers, 653 ASHA workers, and 637 ICDS workers deployed on duty. In north Kashmir’s Baramulla, 1.64 lakh children falling in the age group of 0-5 years were immunized at 790 booths and 11 transit points established in the district. About 3150 health workers were deployed for the successful conduct of the Immunization drive. In Bandipora, 62000 children up to 5 years of age were immunized at 349 IPPI centres established in the district including in snow-bound Gurez Valley. In Ganderbal, 48013 children in the age group of 0-5 years were administered vaccines at 232 booths vaccinations in the district to immunize them against the disease. In Pulwama, 92836 children were provided oral Polio drops at 471 Polio booths in the district. In Kupwara, 130677 children were immunized at 738 PPI centres set up across the district. In Kulgam, 87290 children were vaccinated at 508 booths established in five medical blocks. In Shopian, as many as 233 Pulse Polio booths had been established besides three transit teams and one mobile team to vaccinate 39414 children.