JAMMU, NOVEMBER 02: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting with the district administrations and took stock of progress achieved under district development plans and various other government programs and schemes.

Administrative Secretaries of departments of Home, Housing & Urban Development, Power Development, Public Works (R&B), Youth Services & Sports, Transport, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Revenue, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, and Disaster Management, Relief, Reconstruction & Rehabilitation, besides Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir/Jammu, Deputy Commissioners of all districts and concerned HoDs participated in the meeting.

Continuing with the previous review of developmental works being undertaken under the District CAPEX, the Chief Secretary expressed concern over allotment of identified works and requested early commencement of execution of these works.

While observing that while some districts have shown good progress, few have still not reached the desirable level. Dr. Mehta directed the Divisional Commissioners to regularly review the district-wise progress in this regard and ensure timely completion of all developmental works. While the performance of Shopian district in allotting 99% of identified works was appreciated, the lagging districts with less than 50% allocated works were directed to pick up pace and expedite the tendering process.

The Chief Secretary referred to the Supreme Court’s order regulating the sale of fire crackers, for which the Forest Department has also issued consequential orders; and asked the Deputy Commissioners to enforce them in letter and spirit, besides enforcing the COVID appropriate Behaviour and related SOPs and protocols.

Further, the Chief Secretary reviewed the prevailing market rates of various minor minerals across all districts and directed the Divisional Commissioners to vigorously monitor the prices towards ensuring availability of construction material at reasonable rates throughout the Union territory. They were asked to submit daily price report after due verification from independent sources. The concerned agencies were warned against any laxity in implementing the notified rates for various categories of construction material.

Similarly, the district administrations were directed to activate the ‘Commodity Price Monitoring Mechanism’ for ensuring sale of essential commodities at notified rates especially during the ensuing winter months. They were advised to regularly undertake market inspections and product quality assessments to keep a check on black marketing or over pricing of commodities.

Further, it was informed that the recent heavy rainfall/snowfall has been declared as a natural calamity and funds for providing relief to the victims have been released to the districts. As such, the divisional and district administrations were asked to ensure immediate disbursement of the relief amount.

With regard to timely snow clearance and maintenance of road network throughout the Union territory, Dr. Mehta re-emphasized the formulation of guiding standard operating procedures for minimum road damage, in consultation with domain experts. Additionally, the Public Works Department was asked to reinforce skilled manpower and augment snow-clearance machinery, particularly the SnowCat machines in all snow-bound districts.

The Chief Secretary further asked the Housing & Urban Development Department and Rural Development Department to expedite formulation of Ward/ Village Level Sanitation Plans with a special focus on scientific waste segregation and disposal. The Urban Local Bodies were also asked improve the frequency of door-to-door waste collection towards maintaining high levels of cleanliness across cities and towns of Jammu and Kashmir.

Reviewing the ‘Apki Zameen, Apki Nigrani’ initiative of the Revenue Department, Dr. Mehta directed commencing the public scrutiny of the online revenue record of all districts by 08.11.2021. The public can now see their revenue documents and raise grievances online without the need of visiting revenue offices.

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