Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam participated in ‘Back to Village’ Program here on Monday, during his 2-day extensive visit to district Bandipora.
The Chief Secretary visited Kanzalwan, Badwan, Wanpora and Khandyal Panchayats and interacted with elected representatives and locals.
He spent half-a-day in Panchayat Wanpora, attended Gram Sabha and interacted with Panchs and Sarpanchs.
Principal Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, Superintendent of Police Rahul Malik and other senior officers of the district were also present.
Appreciating the concept of the Program, people welcomed the initiative of the Government in bringing governance to the grassroots level.
During the interactions, a number of demands were put forth for consideration of the Government including those related to construction of roads and bridges, construction of tunnel for keeping Bandipora-Gurez road open round the year, arrangements for winters, availability of ration, issues with regard to rehabilitation of people displaced by construction of dam, establishment of SBI branches in Tulail and Gurez, employees issues, reservation, healthcare facilities construction of bunkers and creation of job avenues.
In his remarks, the Chief Secretary observed that the Back to Village Program was aimed at energising and strengthening Panchayats and directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation.
He said the feedback obtained from the visiting officers will be valuable to assess the development needs, analyse the economic potential of the villages/hamlets and to tailor areas specific government schemes/programs.
The Chief Secretary said that areas like Gurez have huge tourism potential, adding Government was actively considering establishment of Gurez Tourism Development Authority that will help in creation of tourism infrastructure albeit in a planned and eco-friendly manner to harness tourism potential of the area while maintaining its pristine glory.
He said several important development projects were at various stages of completion which include Khandyal-Bandipora road. It will considerably reduce distance between Bandipora and Gurez.
The Chief Secretary said the Government was planning to make a special tourist corridor to connect Ladakh with Gurez, Tangdhar and other border areas of the state.
While responding to grievances with regard to the Kishenganga Hydroelectric Power Project (KHEP), the Chief Secretary said Government will examine the issue further.
He said improvement of power supply in Gurez will remain under focused attention of the Government. At Wanpora, the Chief Secretary distributed poultry birds among several beneficiaries under National Livelihood Mission.