Rural empowerment key to state’s development: Mehbooba

Srinagar: Terming village as a basic parameter of gauging the prosperity of a state, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said rural empowerment is key to the development of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a gathering at Baran village in Balwal block here today after inaugurating 152 Panchayat Ghars of Jammu division electronically, the Chief Minister said it is her wish to develop villages as complete units of governance under Panchayati Raj.

She said the development of the state is incomplete without the development of villages.

Mehbooba said her government intends to empower Panchayats substantially so that development is taken to people deep in villages.

She said after the Panchayat elections, the Panchs and Sarpanchs would be empowered enough so that they are able to resolve village issues at their own level, rather than taking them to district and secretariat levels.

The Chief Minister hoped that these 152 Panchayat Ghars, which have been built over a cost of Rs 31 crore, would be used as community assets in villages for extending IT facilities and other welfare programmes to people besides functioning as centres of local governance.

She said to address the drinking and irrigation water needs of the area, feasibility of Chenab lift water supply scheme would be examined.

She directed the Rural Development Department to undertake revival and cleaning of all ponds in the area to enhance the water harvesting and improve the water table.

Mehbooba said the smart classrooms in schools would be made available to the people of the area after 4 PM to impart computer training to them.

She also directed utilisation of Panchayat Ghars for extending computer literacy and IT enabled services to people.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the government has vowed to unite people and regions by unleashing a developmental revolution all across the state.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti have resolved to take Jammu and Kashmir towards a better and bright future