AKHNOOR :– Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma has said that responsibilities of Sarpanchs and Panchs have increased manifold with the incorporation of 73rd amendment in State PRI Act, and they should gear up to play a bigger and pro-active role as envisaged in the Act.
Addressing a large gathering of Sarpanchs, Panchs and Chairmen of Panchayati Adalats at a function organized to falcitiate him and MP Madan Lal Sharma here today, the Minister said that empowerment of Panchayti Raj Institutions (PRIs) is the victory of people of Jammu and Kashmir and specifically of Sarpanchs/Panchs who were fighting for their cause for many years. The credit for this historical decision goes to various stakeholders including Central leadership, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi, State PCC President Saif-ud-Din Soz and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
This reformative decision is also a befitting tribute to the visionary leader, Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, as his dream of making the grass root level institutions more vibrant has come true after more than two decades in the state. Now it is responsibility of the Sarpanchs/Panchs to address the aspirations of their people with the dint of hard work and dedication for which they have been voted to power. The new provisions of law will make the Members of PRIs more powerful and they will be independent to take decisions with regard to sustained development in their jurisdictions after fixing the priorities. The burden of the local MLAs will also be somewhat lessened, said the Minister.
Regarding demands of some more deserving areas for creating the administrative units, the Minister said that the Chief Minister has already announced in his reply to the Motion of Thanks to Governor’s Address in the House that Government would set up a Committee of experts who will examine the demands and all deserving areas, if left will get the justice, he added.
The Minister asked the people to strengthen the hands of State and Central Government to ensure all round development. He said peace and tranquility is pre-requisite for the development and Sarpanchs have to make efforts for strengthening the bonds of mutual brotherhood, communal harmony and social fabric, especially during the ensuring elections when some anti-social and anti-national forces can try to vitiate the peaceful environment. He asked them to remain vigilant against such forces and defeat their nefarious design, said the Minister.
Mr. Madan Lal Sharma lauded the coordination of State and Central Governments and said that welfare initiatives taken by both the Governments have started yielding results on ground. He expressed his gratitude to the State Government for creating new administrative units and bringing 73rd amendment in the PRI Act.
He also expressed his happiness over the excellent performance of Rural Development for implementation of MG NREGA for which the Akhnoor was adjudged best performing block and Central Government conferred award. He said Parliament elections are round the corner and people must take massive participation in the process. He asked the Sarpanchs/Panchs to make aware the people about the importance of election.
OBC Vice Chairman, Kuldeep Verma, President Block Congress Committee, Akhnoor, Ram Saran Bhagat, Working President, Block Congress, Baldev Sharma, Block Congress Committee Mahila President, Smt. Raj Rani and large number of Sarpanchs/Panchs, Panchayat Adalat Pradhans drawn from various parts of Akhnoor and sectoral officers of various departments were present on the occasion.
Earlier, the Sarpanchs felicitated the Minister, Member Parliament and OBC Vice President by offering them traditional Dogra turban and mementoes for their relentless efforts to empower panchayats and creation of new administrative units for Akhnoor people.
Later, the Minister participated in a function organized in connection with the celebration of Guru Ravi Dassji Jayanti at Akhnoor organized by Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Akhnoor.
On the occasion, the Minister highlighted the importance of the day and asked the people to follow the teachings of this great spiritual saint who throughout his life fought for the cause of down trodden and weaker sections of the society. He paid rich tributes to the legendary saint.
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