KUPWARA, AUGUST 20: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Ahmad Khan today said that the Elected Local Bodies are the basic pillars of democracy which are being empowered by providing funds for the first time to ensure local area development.

The Advisor was addressing a conference of Elected Local Bodies here at Government Degree College Kupwara.

District Development Commissioner, Kupwara, Anshul Garg, SSP Kupwara, ADDC, ADC Kupwara, ADC Handwara, SDM Karnah, Chairman Municipal Council Kupwara, Presidents of Municipal Committees Handwara & Langate, BDC Chairpersons, Sarpanchs and District Officers were present.

The Advisor Farooq Khan said that Kupwara is a politically mature district and its people always participate in the democratic process. He said officers should ensure that PRIs and ULBS are made more powerful by taking them into confidence while formulating developmental plans and other activities.

Hailing Kupwara as a scenic district, he asked the Administration to take utmost attention to maintain its splendor by developing all means of sanitation. He advised District Administration for expediting the process of formulation of Solid Waste Management Plan in the district. He said cleanliness is equally important in rural areas as well as in cities, adding that PRIs should take lead in mass awareness in their areas for ensuring cleanliness.

Mr. Khan also said that Kupwara district has a huge potential for economic development and stressed the need for making Conceptual Paper for development of tourism in the district.

The Advisor stressed on the need for ensuring quality of macadamization and blacktopping going on in the district.

Referring to the menace of corruption, the Advisor said that the Government headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has waged a war against corruption. He advised the PRIs not to keep mum if they notice any kind of corrupt activity taking place in their area and inform the authorities immediately.

Appreciating the efforts of COVID-19 warriors, the Advisor asked for usage of masks, sanitizers and maintenance of social distancing to curb the pandemic.

Earlier, the Advisor e-inaugurated Common Service Centres in 24 blocks of the district and said that this facility can be availed by general masses especially youth at the panchayat level.

The Advisor also distributed a Coffee Table Book at the conference which was distributed among all PRIs and the officers. The book, first of its kind in the district, showcases developmental activities registered by various departments in the last one year, besides providing an insight into its history, culture, tradition and tourism potential.

In his address, District Development Commissioner (DDC) Kupwara, Anshul Garg expressed gratitude to the members of Municipal Committees and PRIs for their efforts in COVID-19 management and distribution of masks at village level. He said that 5000 works have been taken up under 14th F.C in the district and Rs.30 crore have been put at the disposal of PRIs for utilization in local development.

The DDC asked BDC chairpersons to prioritize the pending works under the Back to Village programme for its completion. He said that the district administration has set a target to blacktop 470 KM Road length, of which 50% target has already been achieved. He said this year border roads have also been macadamized.

The DDC said that Kupwara is an aspiring District where 5 key sectors- Health, Education, Agriculture, Skill Development and Infrastructural development have been prioritized. He said 80 out of 170 Community Bunkers have been completed and work is in progress on the rest of the bunkers in the border areas of Karnah, Keran and Machill.

President Municipal Committee Handwara, Masroor Ahmad Banday, BDC Keran, BDC Kralpora, BDC Machill and BDC Ramhaal, BDC Tangdar, BDC Mawar spoke on issues of their areas.

Earlier, SSP Kupwara spoke on the role of PRIs/ULB in drug de-addiction efforts.

GM CSC, Shahnawaz Rashid, spoke on Common Service Centres in panchayats. Other speakers spoke on the role of PRIs/ULB in reducing dropout rate in schools, management of Community Classes and School infrastructure, improving crop productivity and Har Gar Nal, besides effective COVID-19 management.

Video clips depicting the development registered under various sectors in the district were also screened during the conference.