WE HAVE ROBUST PARTICIPATION OF PEOPLE IN GOVERNANCE

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Shopian District

We Have Robust Participation Of People In Governance ;Deputy Commissioner Mr Sachin Kumar, IAS

Bisma Nazir

There is no alternative to the legislature, but the grassroots democratic
institutions have filled the vacuum to a significant extent in Jammu and Kashmir.
Panchayats, Block Developmental Councils and District Development Councils are
pro-actively involved in decision making and overall supervision of the functioning
of the administration. Hence it shall not be appropriate to say that under the
current arrangement, people don’t have a say.
In an exclusive conversation with Kashmir Central, Deputy Commissioner Shopian
Mr Sachin Kumar, IAS, said that the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are
functioning very smoothly in the district. They have a say in the execution of
development works and also in planning and decision making.
Involvement Of People In Panchayati Raj Institutions
The DC said that the involvement of general public through PRIs is visible, which
makes these institutions vibrant. “What matters is the participation of the people

in governance. I am happy to note that our district is marked by robust
participation of people.”
The DC Shopian said that major part of the plan is executed through the PRIs.
“The district administration has the supervisory role as far the execution part is
concerned. We link the people with the developmental initiatives. There is
emphasis from the highest office to strengthen the PRIs. We are committed to
provide all possible support under the prescribed norms to these institutions,” the
DC said.
“The connect between the people and the administration has been
institutionalized. There is no discrimination at all in building that connect. LG’s
Mulaqat program is one such initiative at the highest level, where people are
heard in a free and fair manner. At district level, the administration has been
directed to meet people without any discrimination and settle their grievances in
a time bound manner. I myself meet people from 11 am to 3 pm daily and
everyone is heard affectionately,” DC Shopian said, flanked by a group of civilians.
The DC added that the district officers of all the departments have been told to
remain available to the people from 11 am to 12 noon every day and then go to
the field or for other departmental tasks.
Measures To Address Drug Menace
Regarding drug peddling, the DC said that the district administration is working on
both preventive and punitive measures to deal with the drug menace. “Our
foremost priority is stop the cultivation of drugs locally, and prevent the
smuggling of drugs from across the border to our district. We are after the drug
peddlers, and have booked scores of peddlers under relevant provisions of law,”
the DC said.
The DC added that drug peddling is a challenge throughout the Kashmir, as
smuggling from across the border continues. “We take every possible measure to
save our youth from being consumed by drugs,” he said.
On retrieval of state land from illegal occupants, DC Shopian said that 70% of land
has been retrieved from illegal possession. The administration is working on
evacuation of state land where construction has been carried out.
Youth Taking Benefit Of Govt Schemes

To another question, the DC responded that the district administration
appreciates course correction of the government employees who were somehow
working against national interest. “We believe in giving a chance rather than
recommending punitive measures. There is change in behavior and we should
appreciate that,” said the DC.
The DC said that the youth in the district are taking the benefit of various
government schemes. The participation of youth in developmental activities is
increasing, which is a healthy trend. There is no discrimination in extending the
benefits of the government schemes to the people. This is being recognized and
appreciated.
The security scenario in Shopian district has improved much, and so has the sense
of security. Barring isolated incidents of civilian killings, the district stays peaceful.
DC Shopian endorsed that people are disillusioned with violence. They have
started expressing this in a subtle way. “We as the organs of the state are fulfilling
our responsibility and mandate to the best of our ability. Every single department
is trying to provide better services to the people,” the DC said.

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