JAMMU, DECEMBER 17: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today reviewed the functioning of the Housing & Urban Development Department and took stock of the progress under developmental programmes and schemes.

Principal Secretary, Housing & Urban Development, Commissioner Secretary, Jal Shakti, Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation, Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Directors Urban Local Bodies Jammu and Kashmir along with concerned officers participated in the meeting.

It was informed that the Department observed the first-ever ‘My Town My Pride’ programme in October 2020 with a 3 fold objective of enhancing public outreach across the urban areas and towns of J&K; providing door-step service delivery; and strengthening the grass-root democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. During the 2-day programme, 553 developmental works were identified, of which 345 have been completed so far and the remaining will be completed by March 2022.

Regarding, the Mass Rapid Transit System-Metrolite (MRTS), it was informed that the two projects coming up in the twin capital cities, on completion, will provide a safe, reliable, convenient, cost-effective, and sustainable mode of urban transportation.

The Metrolite corridors will run from Bantalab to Bari Brahmana (23 km) in Jammu, Indra Nagar to HMT Junction (12.50 km), and Hazuri Bagh to Osmanabad (12.50 km) in Srinagar. Once functional, MRTS will promote public transportation with a corresponding reduction in traffic congestion by reducing per capita vehicle ownership and also the per capita traffic accidents.

Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), 64 projects have been completed and the remaining 19 will be completed by March 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs. 513.13 crore. The Mission sponsors developmental works in various sectors including urban transport, drainage, green spaces, water supply, and sewerage management. Jammu and Kashmir has received 13.13 crore as reforms incentive for registering good performance on various parameters.

To further boost development in the urban areas, AMRUT 2.0 is being launched for 5 years with a target of providing water tap connections to all statutory towns; sewerage connections in 3 AMRUT mission cities; and rejuvenation of water bodies, green spaces, and parks.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (URBAN) 2.0, the Department will be working towards achieving a ‘garbage-free’ status for all cities and towns by focusing on segregation of solid waste and door-to-door collection in all urban local bodies.

The Chief Secretary directed the Department to ensure ‘litter-free’ urban areas by 2022 and implementation of scientific waste management techniques including safe disposal in landfills.  The Department was advised to convert all legacy dumpsites into green zones through appropriate interventions.

Dr. Mehta reiterated the dedicated and persistent de-weeding drives in Dal and Nigeen lakes throughout the year for holistic cleanliness and upkeep of the areas, besides implementing the sewerage treatment protocols in a time-bound manner.

The Housing and Urban Development Department was asked to promote rainwater harvesting techniques in urban areas to optimally utilize rainwater and augment the receding water supplies.

Further, the Chief Secretary emphasized the financial and environmental sustainability of developmental works/models being executed through various local governance bodies and directed formulation of guiding principles and framework. The Department was asked to lay special focus on capacity building and training of both the elected members and employees of all urban local bodies.

The Department was also advised to evolve performance-linked incentives to reward the municipalities registering good performance in reform implementation.

Moreover, the Department was directed to promote IT-enabled citizen services by strengthening the IT infrastructure and back-end service support to extend the ease of access to remaining government services.

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