Reiterating the Government’s commitment to ensure all round development in all three regions of the State, the Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma has said that that massive development has taken place in all vital sectors during the past five years and visible change has been acknowledged by the common man at the grass root level.Addressing a large public meeting at Akhnoor, the Minister said that the Government’s main focus remained on the up-gradation of existing infrastructure to improve basic services for the people, especially in the rural and far-flung areas. This includes improvement in road connectivity, drinking water, education, health and social welfare. He said this could be possible due to liberal funding from the Centre Government and a well-knit strategy of the State Government, he added.Referring to social welfare sector, the Minister said that Government sanctioned old age/widow pension to as many as 10,000 beneficiaries during the past five years in Akhnoor block. He said during the current financial year over 1500 deserving beneficiaries have been benefited under this sector.Regarding employment, the Minister said that Government has been making all out efforts to absorb more and more unemployed youth in various jobs in Government as well as in private sector.
The Government has organized job awareness camps for the benefits of youth in the block for a number of occasions; this has helped a large number of youth to avail benefits of various government employment schemes. In future too, such efforts will continue and there will be many opportunities for the youth in different sectors, said the Minister.On the point of regularization of daily wagers/contractual/CP workers engaged in PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control Department, the Minister said that around 25000 such workers are working in different PHE, Irrigation pisions across the State and Government has finalized the list of such workers and a policy decision will be taken in near future. He said these workers are the backbone of the department as they are responsible to run the essential services in the State. He asked the workers to continue to work hard and Government will do justice with them.In order to overcome the drinking water problem of Akhnoor town and adjoining areas, the Minister said that Government has been contemplating to lift raw water from the Chenab River and supply it to these locations after proper treatment. He directed the engineers to identify an appropriate location for construction of a treatment plant for the purpose. Similarly, a mega PHE scheme will be developed at Chowki Chowra area to overcome the drinking water scenario of hilly villages. Work on this mega scheme will start soon, said the Minister.
The Minister asked the people to maintain peace, communal harmony, mutual brotherhood which is must for ensuring development. He cautioned the people against the vested interests who just give hollow slogans in the name of caste, creed and color. Such elements disturb the peace and create hatred atmosphere which is dangerous for our pluralistic society, he maintained.Sarpanchs, Panchs, sectoral officers of various departments and a large number of people from different parts of Akhnoor block were present on the occasion.Later, the Minister also inspected some on-going developmental works in Akhnoor. He directed the engineers to maintain quality standards strictly as per the specifications. He also directed for achieving the targets well in time.Later, on way back at village Kote-Bhalwal, the Minister opened 6th Vishal Kesri Dangal organized by the Panchayat Dangal Committee, Bhalwal. He congratulated the Dangal Committee for this impressive feat and said that this will go a long way in encouraging the rural youth towards the traditional sports.The Dangal Committee honored the Minister by offering traditional Dogra turban and a memento.