SRINAGAR: Stressing upon empowerment of people at the grass roots’ level, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, today said the prime objective of all rural development programmes must be to improve the quality of life in our villages, where a major chunk of the state’s population resides.
The Chief Minister said the idea of convergence will yield better results if more departments are involved in assets’ creation in rural areas, thereby resulting in economic betterment of people as well as social transformation. “There has to be efficiency and greater transparency in utilization of funds so that we eliminate poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment in our rural belts,” she stated.
The Chief Minister was speaking during a high-level review meeting of the Rural Development Department (RDD), at the Civil Secretariat today.
Highlighting the need to make the functioning of RDD’s flagship social security programme, MNREGA, more effective, Mehbooba Mufti also suggested linking of its labour-component with I&FC and PHE departments in the first instance. To bring in more transparency in disbursement of wages, she also issued instructions for making Aadhar-based enrolment mandatory for all MNREGA workers. The Chief Minister desired that revival and conservation of small water-bodies and creation of green spaces by planting trees where rural infrastructure is coming up should also be explored under MNREGA.
Secretary RDD informed the meeting that the process of Aadhar-linked enrolment has been launched and all job-card holders will be registered by the end of November this year and displayed on the Department’s website. On convergence initiatives like Project Rahat, successfully launched in Udhampur for connecting remote rural pockets by construction of small bridges, he said proposals worth Rs.50 crore have been framed.