RTI Act, a vital tool for effective development and public service delivery: CIC
Holds Roundtables at Rajouri
RAJOURI, JANUARY 22: Terming Right to Information Act as a vital tool for quality development and effective public services delivery, Chief Information Commissioner, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai today called for implementation of the act in letter and spirit.
The CIC was addressing the Roundtable of First Appellate Authorities (FAAs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) of District Rajouri.
Secretary J&K SIC Ashok Pandita, Deputy Commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, ADDC A S Chib, SSP Yougal Manhas, ADC Qayoom Mir, Addl SP Mohd Yousuf, media persons from electronic and print media besides all FPAs, PIOs and APIOs of various government departments attended the Roundtable.
Deliberating on the objectives of the act the CIC said the act envisages to provide a transparent and accountable governance to the people with greater aim of establishing a corruption free society. Linking corruption with lack of information in public domain, he said easy and increased flow of information will enable the public to question public spending and social auditing of the government’s projects and schemes, which in turn, will enhance the quality of development and effectiveness in delivery of public services.
The CIC called upon the PIOs and FAAs present in the Roundtable to go through the J&K RTI Act, 2009 and Rules carefully to ensure that they perform their duties in conformity with the provisions of the Act. He said that slackness in the implementation of Section 4 of the Act pertaining to mandatory and suo moto disclosure of information through websites is a big concern which needs to be addressed by all the Public Authorities. He also impressed upon them to establish dedicated RTI cells in their offices to facilitate applicants and ensure time bound replies.
He said that there is sense of fear associated with the act and PIO and APIOs should shun it and share information more openly as enshrined under the act to make the system more transparent and accountable.
CIC made detailed presentation of various sections and rules under RTI act, responded to the queries raised by the participants and also distributed booklets on RTI Act among the participants.
Earlier Dr Shahid informed that of 3300 RTI applications received in the district in last two years more than 3200 stands disposed off. He further informed that in past six months massive awareness has been carried in every nook and corner of the district in more than 180 Camps and implementation of RTI is monitored and reviewed on monthly basis by District Administration.
CIC, DC launch BBBP Calendar 2018
RAJOURI, JANUARY 22: Chief Information Commissioner, Khursheed Ahmed Ganai and District Development Commissioner Rajouri, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary released Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP), 2018, calendar at the sidelines of Roundtable on implementation of Right to Information Act, here at Rajouri today.
Secretary SIC, Ashok Pandita, ADDC, AS Chib, SSP, Yugal K Manhas, DSWO (Nodal Officer BBBP Rajouri), Dr. Abdul Khabir, Dy Registrar, Waqar Talib besides other senior officers of district administration, office bearers of Press Club Rajouri and other media persons were present.
Team BBBP under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Chairman District Task Force BBBP Rajouri had launched a focussed and targeted campaign across the district to effect behavioural changes and aware the general masses of the disastrous consequences of declining sex ratio in society.
Several girl-child and meritorious girl students from different educational institutions and residential schools and hostels including Gujjars-Bakerwals and Pahari girl hostels have been felicitated by the district administration under BBBP.
An exclusive library under BBBP with relevant study material for various competitive examinations for girl students is also being inaugurated in Rajouri shortly.
Greeting kits containing greeting cards, bags, diaries, appreciation letters and other study material were provided to more than 300 meritorious girl students across the district.
Manhas inaugurates Koushal Vikas Mela under PMKVY at Tikri
UDHAMPUR, JANUARY-22: G.K Institute of Training & Research, Centre Mand under Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Training partner Pradhan Mantri Koushal Vikas Yojana organized Koushal Vikas Mela, as per the guidelines of NSDC , here today.
Member Parliament, Shamsher Singh Manhas was the chief guest while Deputy Commissioner, Ravinder Kumar was the guest of honour on the occasion.
Director G.K Institute of Training & Research Center Mand , Gaurav Khajuria informed that the center imparts training to unemployed youth in the age group of 18- 35 years . 350 unemployed youth have been trained in five courses including Cutting, Tailoring,Embroidery, Computer, Data entry Operator, GST, out of which 293 candidates are working in private sectors and at present 170 youth are being imparted training in this institute.
Speaking on the occasion, Manhas said that to gainfully train and employ the educated unemployed youth the government of India has established 16263 Skill Development training institutes across country wherein 2 crore youth have completed training and 1 crore unemployed youth got jobs in various trades. He further added that government is committed to provide 75% of unemployed youth job opportunities in different sectors by 2022.
He further said that PMKVY envisions to offer huge opportunities to the youth for obtaining skills in trades of their interest that will help in gaining job or setting up “Entrepreneurial units whereby instead of job-seekers they can become job-providers.
After distributing certificates and induction Kits among the students Manhas visited G.K Institute of Training & Research, Centre Mand.
During the mela, various cultural programme, skits on BBBP, were presented by the students.
District incharge Anu Radha, and all the staff members of the G.K Institute of Training & Research, of the district were present on the occasion.
CDT won prize in SNIC dimapur
JAMMU, JANUARY 22: 30 NCC Cadets of J&K Directorate alongwith one ANO Third Officer, Ajay Sharma of Higher Secondary School, Durang attended Special National Integration Camp( SNIC) at Dimapur, Nagaland with effect from 03 Jan to 14 Jan 2018.
580 NCC Cadets from 17 Directorates of the country attended the Camp. Cadets participated in various events like National Integration Awareness Presentation, Debate, Declamation, Cultural and sports events. The cadets of J&K Dte performed exceptionally well in all the events.
Sgt Hansja Sharma of GCW Parade bagged the Best Cadet award among girl cadets and also bagged a medal for her outstanding performance as Master of Ceremony. SUO Kishor Singh of GDC Doda also bagged a medal for being the Master of Ceremony
Major General Nilendra Kumar, Additional Director General, NCC J&K has conveyed his appreciation to Sgt Hansja Sharma for her praiseworthy and laudable efforts on 22 Jan 2017 at NCC Directorate Jammu and Kashmir.
KU Vice Chancellor felicitates KU North Zone delegation: 7 students Qualified for Nationals
JAMMU, JANUARY 22: Kashmir University’s cultural delegation comprising of 32 students from different colleges and departments under Cultural Officer, Shahid Ali Khan, represented the University of Kashmir in 33rd North Zone Inter University youth festival held in Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Ambala.
The team bagged 5 prizes in the festival and 7 students of Kashmir University will now represent the Northern Zone in all India Level National Youth festival to be held in Ranchi next month in literary, theatre and Fine Arts events.
The festival was organized by Association of Indian Universities and Ministry of Youth Affairs, Govt. of India.
Prof. Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi ,Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Khurshid Ahmad Butt Registrar University of Kashmir and Dean Students Welfare, Prof G. N. Khaki welcomed the delegation back to the campus and celebrated the winning movements with the students.
VC KU, said, “it gives me overwhelming pleasure that our students brought laurels for the University and congratulate the students and Department of Students Welfare”.
On the occasion, Register University of Kashmir Prof. Khurshid A. Butt said, “We have been and will be providing all the facilities to the students to promote talent, and rich cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir State.
Earlier Dean Students Welfare, Prof. G. N. Khaki welcomed the Guests and Participants and briefed about the event. He further said , “ these meets are instrumental in bringing about the positive changes among the students and Department of Students Welfare will always facilitate and encourage participation of talented students in such mega events as and when organized within and outside the state.
DESK takes stock of coaching centres for civil services at GDC B’la
SRINAGAR, JANUARY 22: Director School Education, Kashmir Dr. G N Itoo along with Head of the State Institute of Education (SIE) Kashmir, Mehboob Hussain today visited the Government Degree College (GDC) Baramulla to take stock of the arrangements made for the establishment of CMs Super 50 Coaching Centres for civil services.
He also held meeting with Principal Government Degree College Baramulla in this regard, where he was apprised about the arrangements made in this regard. The officer expressed satisfaction on the arrangements made for starting free coaching centre for civil services examinations here and assured full cooperation and support in this regard. During the meeting Director School Education Kashmir told that Free Coaching and other necessary facilities will be provided to the selected 50 aspirants.
CEC Kargil calls for establishment of milk pasteurization plants, stresses for proactive approach to revive dairy sector
KARGIL, JANUARY 22:- Chairman and Chief Executive Councilor Kargil Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan has today called for establishment of dairy plants with a complete set of machinery required for milk pasteurization in the district to meet the demand of pasteurized milk.
The CEC stated this while chairing a meeting of the officers of Cooperative and Animal Husbandry Department which was convened to review the status of projects undertaken by the departments for the encouragement of local milk and other cooperative societies in Kargil.
The CEC underlined the need to enlighten the local cooperative societies with the latest technical know-how, and to spread awareness with regard to the schemes and incentives of the Government. He said such steps will go a long way in boosting the framers economy.
It was given out at the meeting that there are six registered milk processing societies in the district which supply an average quantity of five lakh litres of milk to Army as well civilians per annum. The officers further informed the CEC that under the Intensive Cooperative Development Project (ICDP) sponsored by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) a number of projects for the establishment of dairy farms, poultry farms, Cooperative Super Bazaars, District Consumer Cooperative Stores at block levels, Primary Agriculture Credit Societies, Milk Cooperative Societies in the district are under pipeline and work on their establishment is expected to be kick-started in the present year.
The CEC while underlining the need to prepare a revised project for the establishment of a Milk Producers Cooperative Society in the district at the district headquarters directed the concerned officers to prepare detailed DPRs in this regard by engaging learned consultants so that the matter for the provision of funds could be taken up with State Government.
Sonam calls on Kiren Rijiju, takes up prominent issues of Kargil District
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 22: -Executive Councilor for Zanskar Affairs Tenzin Sonam today called on the Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju at New Delhi and apprised the Minister about the various problems faced by the people of Kargil District, especially during the winter season.
While raising a number of issues, the EC urged upon the Minister to resume the IAF chopper service for evacuation of serious patients which was discontinued last year. Sonam explained that due to the non-availability of this vital service many precious lives are being lost in the remote mountainous region of Kargil particularly Zanskar sub-division which remains cut off even from its district headquarters for more than seven months of the year. The EC requested the Minister for taking immediate steps in this regard so that the people do not suffer anymore.
The EC also took up the issue of the extension of Kargil Airport with the Union Minister. Various other issues pertaining to Zanskar Sub-division like sanctioning of additional 200 tonnages for the operation of MI-17 Helicopter from Leh to Padum and vice versa, an operation of IAF chopper service between Leh-Chumik and Leh Rangdum, the border dispute between Himachal Pradesh and J&K at Chumik Gyalsa Sarchu and other prominent matters came up for discussion. The EC urged upon the Union Minister of State for immediate steps in this regard besides settlement of the border disputes and creation of permanent police check post at Zanskar Sumdo and Chumik Gyalsa.
Other prominent issues taken up with the Union Minister included the speedy construction of Nimoo -Padum- Darcha road and construction of an airstrip at Padum to end up the total isolation of the area.
The Minister gave a patient hearing to all the grievances and informed the EC that the Union Government is fully conscious of the difficulties being faced by the people of the far-flung and remotest snowbound areas of the country and a number of concrete measures are being taken to mitigate their sufferings.
The Minister said that the project for expansion of Kargil Airport is already under the active consideration of the Government, adding work on the project shall be executed soon after the acquisition of land. The Minister also informed the EC that construction of an airstrip at Padum Zanskar is under consideration by the Government and survey for the same is underway.
The Union Minister assured that all the genuine demands shall be looked in on the priority basis by the Union Government and necessary steps shall be taken in due course of time.
Connectivity JK’s biggest challenge JK: Naeem Akhtar
Rs 42000 Cr PMDP allocation to give push to connectivity; Ring Roads taken up in Jammu, Srinagar; 4056 km road length macadamized in 2017-18
131 PMGSY projects completed in 2017-18, Projects worth Rs 1200 cr approved under CRF, Road Safety Audit Cell established
JAMMU, JANUARY 22:Stressing the need for expanding inter and intra-state connectivity, Minister for Public Works, Mr Naeem Akhtar today said ironically even after 70 years of independence, connectivity continues to be the biggest challenge for Jammu and Kashmir.
“Kashmir must be only part of the world today, where people have to switch on the radio in the morning to know about the status of the road connecting them with the outside world,” Naeem Akhtar said while winding up the discussion on Demand for Grants of the Public Works and allied Departments in the Legislative Assembly this evening.
He said with the efforts of the previous regimes and the present Government, there is now hope that by the end of this year, there will be improved connectivity between Kashmir and rest of the country with the accomplishment of the upgradation of major portion of Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
He said there are connectivity issues not only between Srinagar and Jammu, but between various sub-regions as well which need to be addressed with focused resolve.
To further boost the connectivity in the State, the Minister said that an allocation of Rs 42000 crore has been earmarked under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for construction of national highways and tunnels in the State. He said the prestigious Chenani-Nashri tunnel has been operationalized and 84 km long Mughal road has also been completed that connects Bufliaz in Jammu province to Shopian in Kashmir province.
He said the Government of India has declared Kargil-Zanskar road, Srinagar-Shopian-Qazigund road and Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch road as National Highways – NH 301, NH 444 and NH 144 ‑ respectively while as in-principle approval has been accorded for declaring Dinga Amb-Challan-Udhampur road, Lakhanpur-Mahanpur-Basohli-Dunera road and Basohli-Bhaderwah-Doda road as national highways.
“The work on Z-Morh tunnel and road from Udhampur to Ramban and Ramban to Banihal are going on in full swing,” the Minister said, adding the Centre has sanctioned special maintenance package of over Rs 95 crore for road projects.
The Minister said the work for preparation of DPRs for realigned portion of Batote-Kishtwar–Sinthan-Khannabal, Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani including 3.5 km long tunnel at Goha, Sudhmahadev-Goha tunnel and Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel is under process. For construction of tunnel on Mughal road, tender has been floated by NHIDCL for preparation of DPR, he added.
Government is making all out efforts for construction of Sadhna tunnel, four-laning of Srinagar-Baramulla Highway from Baramulla-Kupwara-Sangrama and providing inter-district connectivity through an alternate highway from Ganderbal, Bandipora and Lolab.
Under PM’s package, two ring road projects have been approved for the state at the cumulative cost of Rs 4,000 crore, one in Srinagar at the cost of Rs 2,201 crore and other in Jammu at the cost of Rs 2,097 crore. DPRs for constructing semi-ring roads around twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu have been prepared, he added.
“The construction of Mughal road reduced the travel distance from Poonch to Srinagar to 175 km, Rajouri to Srinagar to 200 km and Poonch to Srinagar to 135 km,” he said, stressing that the government is making all out efforts to get Mughal road declared as National Highway and construct 8.5 km long tunnel between Zaznar and Chatapani at the estimated cost of Rs 3,500 crore to render an all-weather road connectivity in the region.
The Minister informed that the GoI has approved Phase-XI of Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojana (PMGSY) that includes 199 project proposals worth Rs 955.63 crore covering a road length of 1,211.31 km across the state.
Under PMGSY, 131 projects have been completed in 2017-18. The government received Rs 319.375 crore from the Centre, besides one-time special dispensation of Rs 1,287 crore as cost of land acquisition for PMGSY projects, he informed.
Naeem informed the House that Government of India has agreed to sanction projects worth Rs 1200 crore under Central Road Fund (CRF). He said out of 230 sanctioned schemes under the plan, 73 projects have been completed at the cost of Rs 1,048.49 crore and 17 new schemes are targeted to be completed in 2018-19, he stressed.
“The work on prestigious Bhaderwah-Chamba road sanctioned under ISC has been completed,” the Minister said, adding the work is in full swing on 1,210 m span (double lane) pre-stressed bridge over river Ravi at village Keerian Gandialat the estimated cost of Rs 158.84 crore.
Stressing that NABARD has been the main source of funding for the department to build rural infrastructure related to roads and bridges, the Minister informed that 51 projects have been completed in current year while as 11 projects would be completed by March, 2018.
“156 new projects costing Rs 429.14 crore have been recommended for funding under NABARD RIDF XXIII and 109 schemes are targeted to be completed in 2018-19”, he informed.
He informed that Rs 580 crore have been allocated for PWD works under World Bank assistance for Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery project.
Stressing that the state has witnessed a twofold rise in macadamization of roads during the current fiscal, Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar said the government has macadamized a total of 4,056.25 km road length in 2017-18 till November, 2017 including 1,330.02 km in Jammu and 2,726.23 km in Kashmir.
“The government would macadamize a road length of 3,898.12 km in 2018-19 under different schemes”, he added.
Giving details about the works of JKPCC, the Minister said the Corporation is executing about 377 works in the state at the cost of Rs 4,598.42 crore.
The Minister said the Corporation constructed Pushwara bridge in Anantnag, Manzgam-Panzgam Bridge and Meelyal Bridge in Kupwara, Pedestrain Bridge in Rajbagh, Polytechnic Colleges in Reasi, Samba and Kathua and other projects in the state. It would complete 30 bridges/roads and more than 27 buildings of different departments in 2018-19, he added.
Informing that about 6000 km road length and 600 bridges were damaged in 2014 floods, the Minister said the government launched a massive programme to improve riding surface of roads.
The government spent Rs 1,220 crore (Rs 623.66 crore in Kashmir and Rs 596.34 crore in Jammu) on this programme in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 till November 2017 and cleared a liability of Rs 200 crore this year, he added.
The Minister said 511 bridges are under construction in the state and 18 bridges have been completed in current year while as 26 bridges are expected to be completed during next fiscal. He informed that 204 bridges, 117 in Jammu and 87 in Kashmir, are targeted to be completed upto 2019-20.
Under ‘Prime Minister’s package for flood damaged infrastructure’, the Minister said the work on 166 bridges has been completed while as 18 bridges would be completed by March, 2018, he added.
Listing new initiatives taken by the department, the Minister said social media has been used for line tracking of different projects, Standard Bidding Document formed to streamline tendering process, comprehensive quality assurance manual finalized and joint ventures have been allowed for participation of small/medium firms and individual participation in bigger projects.
For ensuring quality of road projects, the Minister said Road Safety Audit Cell has been established in the Directorate of Design, Inspections & Quality Control (DIQC) as the nodal agency in the state for engineering aspects of road safety, besides pressing State Quality Monitors (SQMs) on the pattern of PMGSY into service for quality assurance of CRF roads.
Later, the House passed the grants amounting to Rs 289409.37 lakh for Public Works (Roads and Buildings) and allied Departments.
Earlier, several members including Aga Ruhullah, Sat Paul Sharma, GM Saroori, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, Yawar Ahmad Mir, Mubarak Gul, Davinder Maniyal, M Y Tarigami, Chowdhary Mohammad Akram, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Bashir Ahmad Dar, R S Pathania, Moulvi Abid Hussain Ansari, Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, Choudhary Qamar Hussain, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, Vikar Rasool Wani, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Daleep Singh Parihar, Altaf Ahmad Wani, Pawan Gupta, Syed Farooq Andrabi, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Asgar Ali Karbalai, Abdul Rahim Rather, Ravinder Raina, Javaid Ahmad Rana, Shah Mohammd Tantray, Shamima Firdous, Raja Manzoor, Abdul Majid Larmi, Deldan Namgyal, Abdul Majid Padder, Abdul Rashid Dar and Usman Abdul Majid participated in the discussion on Demand for Grants of the Public Works and allied Departments.
– 95% contracts worth Rs 1000 crore allotted after specific timelines were notified to avoid unnecessary delay in execution of projects
– Bidders given option to use the space along with the IT infrastructure in the field offices (R&B Divisions) for e-tendering process.
– PWD devised Standard Bidding Document to streamline tendering process by making various clauses more comprehensive and elaborate to avoid interpretation issues thus reducing subsequent litigations.
– Small turnover contractors facilitated to develop capacities and boost local entrepreneurship and self employment by enhancing the bidding capacity Multiplication factor ‘M’ from 2 to 2.5
– To boost performance, contractors who perform well continuously would be awarded by increasing their ‘M’ value upto ’3’.
– Average turnover for capacity calculation to be average of any of the 3 years out of the last 5 years
– Average similar nature work requirement pegged at 33% for less than Rs 40 cr works and 40% for more than Rs 40 cr works.
– Trying to address the issue of unavailability of raw material in far flung areas in a mission mode by providing all kinds of support to the entrepreneurs desiring to establish, stone crushers, hot mix plants in rural areas
– Allowed Joint Ventures to assure collaborative participation of small and medium firms/individual participants for bigger projects, while simultaneously furthering their capacity, capability and strengths
– For Bituminous Works the bidding capacity of the Hot-mix plant owners linked with the Capacity to Pave within the working season rather than just owning a Hot-mix plant.
– It has been observed that working season for the BT works is quite restricted in the State especially in the colder areas which makes the capacity to pave in this short period as the real bottleneck for completion of works.
– Decided to take into consideration the machinery to take into consideration from the next seasons along with a working schedule of the contractors bidding for multiple BT works so that no BT work which is tendered or left incomplete due to weather conditions.
– The government intends to have zero tolerance on Quality aspect of the government works
– Social media being used profusely for online tracking of different projects and taking ground level feedback from the actual stakeholders/public of the area
– Any reports of deviance are immediately responded by on-the-spot inspections and punitive actions against the culprits
– State Quality Monitors (SQMs) on the pattern of PMGSY have been pressed into service for quality assurance and management of ongoing CRF schemes
– Department has finalized comprehensive Quality Assurance Manual (QAM) that is the part of the Standard Bidding Document.
– For contracts above a certain value (Rs 10 Cr to begin with), the bidder shall have to give a mandatory Quality Management Programme (QMP) based on QAM. These QMPs shall be linked with the payments to the contractors.
– The department shall be coming out with an annual schedule of trainings of various types for its filed functionaries including in-house capacity building as well as trainings by professional institutions.
– The department shall allow in-service diploma holders to get admission through lateral entry into the Engineering Institutions in the State or any Government Institute outside the State.
– Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways train JK Youth in different skills with special emphasis on Tunnelling technology thus increasing their employability potential at a global level.