The Union Minister of State (PP), Dr Jitendra Singh said that all Central laws applicable to other parts of the country will now be applicable to the newly created UTs of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh. He said that there are about 854 such laws which are citizen-friendly and will benefit the common man of J&K and Ladakh, who were previously deprived of it. The Minister said that now everybody should understand that Article 370 is gone and gone forever; and not in pieces, but as a whole and it is the determined resolve of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the Home Minister Shri Amit Shah. He appealed to the people of the UTs not to pay heed to the fringe elements with vested interests and to cooperate with the Government in providing welfare to common masses. He was addressing at the inauguration of two-day Conference on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ with focus on ‘Jal Shakti’ and ‘Disaster Management’ on November 30-December 1, 2019 at Jammu today. The conference is being organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in collaboration with Governments of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.During the conference, Dr Jitendra Singh also released the Special issue of e-Magazine, ‘Minimum Government Maximum Governance’ based on Successful Innovations in Governance in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The innovations included - Back to Village: A people’s programme; Panchayat Polls: IEC campaign for Panchayat elections Amendments in J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989; Project KREDA Kargil, Ladakh; Project Tsangda Leh: A waste management programme; Power to all: Total household electrification in J&K state; Project Jalshakti: Reasi; Constituency Development Fund Management Information system, Budgam; Project Saubhagya Plus, Ganderbal; Enabling girl child education, Bandipura; Rejuvenating Lost ponds, Kathua and Enrolment drive in schools and infrastructure improvement with community support in border areas, Baramulla. He also launched the integration of CPGRAMS Public Grievance Portal of Government of India and Awaaz-e-Awam Portal of Jammu & Kashmir.Dr Jitendra Singh said that this is the second big conference being organized by DARPG in a short span of time, the first being organized on November 15-16, on replication of good governance practices. He expressed happiness that the first conference had participation of about 450 delegates from 19 states and 4 UTs and the second conference has participation from about 350 delegates. He said that the development model of North Eastern Region will be implemented in these UTs also. He also mentioned about the upcoming Panchayat Adalat and Bamboo workshop. Speaking about the theme of the conference ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’, the Minister said that this is one of the flagship initiatives at the behest of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and is going to have good outcomes for both the UTs. This conference will provide an occasion to replicate and learn from good initiatives of Tamil Nadu in these UTs, especially the river management.
Speaking about the disaster management, the Minister said that earlier the response to disasters used to be reactive, but under the leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, it has now become proactive. He added that the focus is now on preventive measures and minimizing the damage. Now, we have a foolproof technology available in India to mitigate the crisis and we can now forecast disasters very early and inform the administration in real time, he further said. Dr Jitendra Singh said that PM’s focus has been on maximum use of technology and real time monitoring. The Minister said that Jal Shakti Abhiyaan is a flagship programme of the Government and a separate Ministry has been created for it. He also spoke about the issues related to Shahpur Kandi and the Ujh River projects in J&K. Now, the work on previously halted projects will be expedited, he said. He further said that this unique bonding of Northern-most UTs and Southern-most state will carry a message of good governance from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The Minister said that the Government is committed to reach the last man in the queue in J& K and Ladakh. He added that these UTs have been created with a lot of thought and deliberations. All the Central laws including Right to Education, Right to Minimum Wages, Dowry Prohibition Act and acts related to corruption, vigilance & welfare of parents will now be implemented in these UTs. He added that the Government has taken this important responsibility and will carry it. During the conference, the Minister for Revenue & Disaster Management, Government of Tamil Nadu, Shri R.B. Udhayakumar, expressed his happiness to participate in the regional conference on ‘Ek Bharat-Shresht Bharat’ with focus on Jal Shakti and Disaster management’ in Jammu. He said that this collaboration will promote the exchange of technical expertise and best practices in the areas of optimal use of water resources in domestic consumption, agriculture and other usages. Sharing the advances and experiences on disaster management would help in minimizing the magnitude of its adverse impacts by our meticulous preparedness, swift response, quick rehabilitation and recovery, he added. He further said that each disaster is different in its own nature and teaches us a lesson to prepare ourselves better. He said that experiences on using water efficiently will definitely be useful for the participants.Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu observed that the conference is a great opportunity to share the best practices from across the country.
Underlining the importance of water conservation and the sustainability of natural resources, the Lt. Governor emphasized on the need to take immediate measures to save water and mitigate the crisis of water shortage. He said that the agricultural scientists should study the cropping pattern to suit the monsoon and other climatic conditions. It is not only about the availability of water, but also about the quality of water that we need to focus on, he stressed.The Lt. Governor observed that we can prevent several water borne diseases if we are able to ensure safe drinking water to the people. We often take the air and water as a free commodity, but we rarely think about the changing scenario where quality of both these indispensables is deteriorating, the Lt. Governor maintained.The Lt. Governor further said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has proved how sanitation can improve the lives of people. Elaborating on the role of citizens during natural and manmade disasters, he said that the first responders to any disaster are citizens and their empowerment is the absolute requirement. He emphasized upon the awareness among citizens through early warning and SMS service, among others.He further emphasized on the need to strengthen the capacity building mechanism, knowledge and information sharing, outlining of Standard Operating Procedures( SOPs) for all the stake holders and learning from the past experiences so that a better future could be secured for the people.The Chief Secretary of J&K, Shri B. V. R. Subrahmanyam complimented DARPG for organizing this conference. He said that the themes of the conference are appropriate for J&K. He further said that no region in the country is as prone to natural disasters as J&K. He quotes incidents of earth quake of 2005 and floods of 2014 which is due to the unique topography here, he added. He further said that disaster management includes prevention as well as mitigation. We should learn from the state of Tamil Nadu to build up capacities, he stressed. He emphasized that water should be taken to every doorstep and by June 2021, the entire state should have pipe water supply. Tamil Nadu is one of the best users of water and managing its water resources very well despite being a water stressed state, he said. He also mentioned about the Devika project in Udhampur that has the potential to become a tourist destination in J&K.Earlier, delivering his welcome address, the Additional Secretary, DARPG, Shri V. Srinivas said that DARPG has taken various initiatives including visit of DARPG delegation to J&K in September, after which the collaboration with J&K Government has gained momentum. He added that DARPG’s conference on 15th-16th November had adopted ‘Sushasan Sankalp: Jammu Resolution’ and two of its points are being implemented today. He added that ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ has brought together partner state of Tamil Nadu and UTs of J&K and Ladakh. He further said that ‘Sahyog Sankalp’ will be adopted in the valedictory session. The objective of this conference is national integration, Shri Srinivas said.The Conference is being attended by about 350 delegates from State Government – District Collectors/District SPs and representatives of Civil Society, Engineering Departments, Food, CA & Civil Supplies Department, among others.