Poonch, April 20
Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq today said that the development of twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch on modern lines is the priority of the present dispensation and its aim is to take the benefits of government schemes to every individual living in the last village of the state.
Interacting with the people during his visit to the twin districts, the minister said former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took revolutionary steps within a short span of time for the development of these districts which include the opening of Poonch-Chakkan-da-Bagh road for cross border trade, opening of a university in Rajouri, connect the twin districts with Kashmir through Mughal road and other developmental projects. “These historical initiatives became the bedrock for the development of these hitherto neglected districts. Undisputedly the development at this scale was never witnessed before in this region” he asserted.
He said the proposed tunnel on Mughal road, once completed, would not only provide round the year access to the region, it would also give a big boost to the tourism in the region. He said better connectivity was bound to give the region’s economy a turnaround besides tiding over the problem of unemployment in the region.
Abdul Haq said under MGNREGA, he has directed the officials to stop the traditional works of lanes and drains and instead focus on the rural connectivity. He said hundreds of bridges and roads have been constructed after that which could not have been imagined some years back. He lauded the role of officials in making the plans successful on ground.
He said the roads are the key to development and that construction of roads and bridges under MGNREGA will help the rural population to find new avenues. He said the works done under Rural Development will blur the rural-urban divide by ensuring equal facilities.
Earlier the Minister reviewed the functioning of Rural Development Department in Poonch, which was attended by MLA Haveli Shah Mohammad Tantray, MLC Yashpal Sharma, DDC Mohammad Haroon, SSP Rajiv Panday, Director RDD Jammu, RK Raina and ACD Poonch Zubair Shah.
During the meeting, the Minister was informed that 12024 developmental works were taken up under MGNREGA during the last fiscal including the spillover works of previous year, of which 5435 works have been completed till date.
Under MGNREGA, the Minister was informed that the department had set a target of generating 19.41 lakh mandays and it exceeded the target by touching 24.85 lakh mark. He was also informed that 77158 job cards were provided under MGNREGA for the unskilled and unemployed youth of the district.
Meeting was further informed that against available budget of Rs 64.92 crore, the department spent Rs 63.70 crore.