Poonch: Promising strengthening of border connectivity and sustainable rural development, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday visited Poonch and inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of several projects worth Rs 195 cores to accelerate the development of 229 Panchayats of the district.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that on his arrival, the LG inaugurated the Hockey Astroturf at the Shaheed DySP Manjeet Singh Memorial Government Higher Secondary School and a Boxing Hall at the Sports Stadium and dedicated the facilities to the youth and sportspersons of the district.
During his visit to the border district, the LG launched projects worth Rs 78.80 crore for the welfare of the tribal community and said that several infrastructure projects including bridges, roads, power sub-stations, smart classrooms, and model villages would spearhead the cause of sustainable rural development.
He said 14 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras would create local facilities for value addition to traditional forest products and empower the tribal community while various other benefits extended to small farmland owners and people living in border villages would infuse a sense of self-confidence.
Addressing the people of the district who gathered at the Sports Stadium in large numbers, the LG said, “It is our firm resolve to strengthen the connectivity in border villages. Fourteen road projects worth Rs 50 crore launched today will bring prosperity and help in the overall development of the area.”
He said that 20 mobile towers and a Trauma Centre would soon come up in Poonch.
The LG highlighted that in the last two years, the administration had tried diligently to ensure that the benefits of infrastructure and social welfare reach even the remotest villages of this border district.
He said last year, a total of 1734 projects were completed in Poonch which exceeded the target set in the district capex.
The LG said that this year, under the district capex budget, Rs 924 crore was allocated to the district for development works and out of 1412 projects taken up this year, 80 percent of work would be completed by October 31.
He also paid homage to Padma Shri Mali, a female member of the Gujjar community who saved Poonch in the 1971 War.
The LG said that as a tribute to Mali’s invaluable contribution to the country, Government Degree College, Mandi would be named after her.
“Effective steps should be taken by the district administration to make young generations aware of her inspiring saga,” he said.
The LG said: “Poonch is our pride and several steps are being taken to transform its ecological richness and evolve innovative and ecologically sustainable ways of promoting tourism that will provide greater thrust to other economic activities.”
As a significant step towards tapping the immense tourism potential of the district, the project of tourist infrastructure development of Noori Chhamb under PMDP was also inaugurated on Tuesday.
Observing that the tribal community awaited social justice for years, the LG said that under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, various schemes had been implemented in J&K and every tribal family had been granted their long-due constitutional rights.
“Under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Program, (PMEGP), skill development for tribal youth has been started in Poonch and two batches of training have been completed. The government is bearing the expenses of the coaching for young boys and girls of the tribal community for the Civil Services, J&K Administrative Service examination, NEET, and JEE examination,” he said.
The LG said that there would be no shortage of funds for those youths who aspire to become entrepreneurs.
“In Poonch last year, 1479 young boys and girls became entrepreneurs and employed more than 3500 people. This year we have also set a target to make 1062 youth entrepreneurs. Under the Mumkin programme of Mission Youth, 97 vehicles have been distributed among the youth, and under Tejaswini Yojana, we are moving towards fulfilling the dream of 300 girls to become entrepreneurs,” he said. “Special focus of the administration is on the development of border villages by ensuring effective implementation of projects under BADP, Samridh Seema Yojana, and Aspirational Block. A total of 55 projects of Samridh Seema Yojna and 11 projects of Aspirational Block have been approved and their tendering process is going on.”
Addressing the demands of the public representatives and people of Poonch, the LG assured that Mendhar, Poonch Mini Secretariat would be completed soon.
“Power capacity of various areas of Poonch including Chandak, Mendhar, Loran will also be augmented to cater to the needs of the people,” he said. “We are working on the principle of ‘Governance for All’ and not for a select few. Dedicated efforts are being made to establish a corruption-free, drug-free, and job-oriented society.”
The LG said that no more sales of jobs would be allowed in J&K.
“All the culprits in the alleged irregularities in recruitment examination of Sub-Inspector, Financial Account Assistant and Junior Engineer will be punished severely,” he said.
Later, the LG handed over sanction letters to various beneficiaries under several schemes and inspected stalls installed by various stakeholders on the occasion.
The official spokesman said that Rs 45 crore worth of projects inaugurated by the LG on Tuesday include Hockey Astro Turf at GHSS Poonch costing Rs 5 crore; construction of Boxing Hall building at Sports Stadium Poonch worth Rs 30 lakh; development of Noori Chamb as a tourist spot and Buffliaz in Surankote at Rs 3.95 crore; 50-metre span bridge at Behramgala costing Rs 2.17 crore; Government Degree College auditorium building at Poonch at Rs 4.55 crore; bridge at Mendhar under CRF costing Rs 13.40 crore; Government Middle School Jaranwali Gali Mendhar and Nari under JTFRP worth Rs 99 lakh and 1.14 crore; the road from Ratti Jabri to Lower Sanjote via Kachar Mohalla Qazian costing Rs 2.19 crore; improvement of road from Chandak to Budha Amarnath shrine in Mandi at Rs 11.66 crore.
The spokesman said that the projects worth Rs 151.23 crore for which the LG laid the foundation stone include the construction of residential accommodation of District Development Council and Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) at Poonch worth Rs 7.25 crore’ DDC office
Poonch at Rs 2.57 crore; BDC office buildings at Bufliaz and Mendhar costing Rs 97 lakh each; 14 road projects under NABARD worth Rs 50 crore; construction of Gujjar and Bakerwal hostels at Surankote, Mendhar, Loran, and Mankote costing 3.75 crore each; 49 model villages under PMAAGY worth 49 crore; Cluster Model Village convergence with PMAAGY at Rs 10 crore; creation of Power Sub-Stations costing Rs 1.50 crore; smart classrooms in schools in tribal areas costing Rs 1.20 crore; 14 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras worth Rs 2.10 crore and PMKSY WDC 2.0 projects costing Rs 10.65 crore.
DDC Chairperson Tazeem Akther expressed gratitude to the LG-led J&K government for taking reformative measures for the holistic development of J&K.
Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta congratulated the people of Poonch for the new projects initiated for the overall development of the district.
Deputy Commissioner Poonch Inder Jeet delivered the welcome address and President MC Poonch Advocate Sunil Sharma presented the vote of thanks.
Principal Secretary to LG Nitishwar Kumar; ADGP Jammu Mukesh Singh; Divisional Commissioner Jammu Ramesh Kumar and Secretary to Government, Tribal Affairs Department Shahid Iqbal Choudhary were also present on the occasion.
On the occasion, artists displayed Pahari and Gojri culture through their impressive performances.