Pulwama: Amid the third phase of Back to Village (B2V3) programme held in Rahmoo village of Pulwama in south Kashmir, locals who had come to attend the programme have said that ‘no senior official from the district attended the meeting’.
Locals told Free Press Kashmir that there were “few low-rung employees” from various departments and nothing of the sorts that was mentioned by the JK administration happened during the programme.
Terming the initiative redundant, the chairman of Village Welfare Committee and former Sarpanch Rahmoo Ali Mohd Dar said that “on one hand, JK administration claims that programme will facilitate the residents, as higher officials will discuss village level issues with them, on the spot; but no district official was present”.
They had instead sent few low-rung employees to conduct the programme and a visiting officer deployed for the programme was present, locals said.
The residents questioned that if the officers will not be present, then with whom would the issues would be discussed.
“How can we share our grievances with someone who doesn’t have knowledge about what is happening,” said one of the residents, adding that by not attending the programme the district officers have “made a fool of us”.
The students of Government Higher Secondary School Rahmoo said that the administration “should not have scheduled the programme at their school building as it disrupts studies”.
Students said that a large number of people who witnesses the programme also pose a great threat to their health in wake of the COVID outbreak, especially when education has already taken a hit.
“Students have been requesting the officials to shift the venue, but no one listens,” said one of the employees at HSS Rahmoo.
In this regard, when FPK tried to speak to the Tehsildar of Rajpora, Pulwama, he did not answer our repeated calls.
The third phase of JK administration’s initiative Back to Village programme began on Friday. The programme, as per the administration, was supposed to ‘witness senior government officials reviewing the development at the grassroots level and addressing public grievances’.
Officials had said the initiative is expected to witness tremendous response from people in 4,290 Panchayats.
To ensure redressal of grievances and undertake development work during the third phase, the JK government has announced that it has earmarked Rs 450 crore.
In this regard, JK LG Manoj Sinha had also convened a meeting with all Deputy Commissioners and SPs through video conferencing and asked the officers to connect with people and “serve them during the outreach campaign”.
“Back to Village programme is not for one person, panchayat or district, but for the whole JK and everyone should come forward to own it and play their important role to uplift the socio-economic condition of rural JK,” Sinha said earlier.
He said that real-time feedback should be recorded by visiting officers regarding the reach of various government services, the status of 100 per cent saturation of different social security and individual beneficiary oriented schemes and analysed report shall be submitted on the same.
Governor had also mentioned that special focus should be laid on the coverage of beneficiaries under different scholarship schemes, Aadhaar seeding of ration cards works under MGNREGA, distribution of sports kits, installation of two dustbins in every Panchayat for solid and liquid waste management, water conservation and identification of at least two young entrepreneurs, road connectivity, power and water supply.