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  • Minister reviews functioning of Urban Local Bodies in Kashmir division
  • MCs to be made self-reliant: Asiea Naqash

SRINAGAR: Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Sat Paul Sharma today stressed on effective implementation of Swachh Baharat Mission (U) and prioritizing the works under the programme so as to achieve targeted results in given time frame besides focusing on utilization of funds under SBM in the area of Solid Waste Management. He said that Waste Management is challenge for everyone and some innovative steps needs to be taken in this regard.

The Minister said this while addressing the officers of Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir Division in a meeting convened to review its functioning and performance made for the overall development cities and towns. Minister of State for Housing & Urban Development, Asiea Naqash was also present in the meeting. Financial Commissioner HUDD K B Agarwal, Director Urban Local Bodies Kashmir Tufail Matoo, Managing Director JK Housing Board Dr. Manmohan Singh, Joint Director Planning HUDD, Chief Executive Officers and Executive Officers of Municipal Councils/Committees, Executive Engineers and other concerned officers attended the meeting.

During the meeting, Director Urban Local Bodies Kashmir gave the detailed presentation on physical and financial achievements register under SBM (U), revenue generation by MCs form its assets, status of declaration of MCs ODF, progress of works taken up under AMRUT, drainage works, and other important activities which are being carried out by Local Urban Bodies in the division.

Discussing the performance under SBM (U), the Minister exhorted upon the CEOs/EOs to put in serious effort in meeting the targets by effective utilization of funds under the programme. “GoI is has been allocating huge amount of funds for the implementation of the programme in the state and should be our sole responsibility to utilize the money in a transparent and effective manner”, the Minister said adding that the funds should not get lapsed because of our inabilities.

 The Minister briefly discussed the status of construction of IHHLs/Community Latrines, Committee wise and directed for declaring all the MCs ODF by July 2018. On the occasion, the Minister also felicitated the EO MC Tangmarg for declaration of said MC ODF. Regarding efforts of ULB Kashmir division to deal with Solid Waste Management, the Minister asked for practicing some innovative ideas for proper waste management. He asked the CEOs/EOs to make this an employment generation area for unemployed youth and to earn a good profit out of it.

The meeting also discussed the status of financial position of MCs with details of revenue they have generated from its various resources/assets. The Minister interacted with CEOs/EOs and enquired about the reasons of increase and decrease of revenue wherever reported. While disusing the revenue generated from collection of building permission fee, the Minister asked the Director to look into the possibilities of rationalizing the fee structure.

It was informed that a Committee under the Chairmanship of Director ULB is to be constituted which will recommend the revision of building permission fee. The meeting also discussed status of BADP works, installation of LED lights, drainage and other works. The meeting was apprised about the status of projects taken up in various MCs including construction of Shopping Complexes, Community Halls and development of Bus Addas. The Minister asked the officers to take the peoples representatives in confidence while taking up the works in their area.

With regard to preparation of MCs falling under Shri Amarnath Yatra route, the Minister asked the officers to ensure that the devotees get all requisite facilities besides maintaining cleanliness in the areas. He also asked to make hoardings to aware people regarding Swachh Bharat Mission and their role in ensuring its effective implementation. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State HUDD Asiea Naqash said that the mandate given to the department is to work for the development of urban areas including cities and towns and we should be able to give our best in achieving the set goals. She also stressed on expediting SBM works with special attention to solid waste management programme.

She asked for close monitoring and proper supervision of works for their better results. All the MCs need to perform in such a manner so that it actually reflects the development of that particular area, she added. Asiea directed the officers to make these bodies self-dependent by generating handsome amount as revenue from its assets. He also asked for creating of assets wherever land is available with them.

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JAMMU: Continuing with the endeavor of encouraging the people to plant trees during the rainy season, Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Rajiv Jasrotia today reviewed the arrangements for 70th Van Mahotsav celebrations slated to be observed next month. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Manoj Pant and other senior officers of Forests and its allied wings of Jammu province attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the Minister directed State Forest Corporation, State Pollution Control Board and Wildlife Department to pool in resources and manpower to make Van Mahotsav - a grand success. He directed SPCB to launch a plantation drive in industrial estates in collaboration with industrial associations. He also directed for including grassroots democratic institutions for greater participation, besides pasing instructions for formulation of transport and communication plan for effective implementation of plantation drive.

The Minister exhorted the Forest Department to launch Van Mahotsav as a brand so that common people identify themselves with the yearly event and stressed for GPS bearing of the plantation sites for better monitoring and inspection. He directed for involving media, both print and electronic, in spreading awareness on Van Mahotsav and the monsoon plantation drive. He stressed on the need for content creation, advertisements, documentaries and messages for social media. “We need to change our mindset and go for collective action for planting more trees,” he added.

Earlier, the Minister was informed that all Divisional Forest Officers shall collect saplings from State Forest Research Institute after sending their requisitions through Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. While addressing the meeting, the Minister further said that forests are important not only for sustaining life on this planet but they also play an important role in increasing agricultural production. He also said that it is our collective responsibility to plant trees during monsoon and the Forest Department will facilitate this cause by providing saplings to the people.

He informed that the slogan of this year’s Van Mahotsav is ‘Greening of Shivaliks, Sunrise to Sunset’. It was decided in the meeting that around 12 lakh saplings would be planted during the Van Mahotsav. The Minister directed the concerned officers to plant trees in and around the government institutions, streets and towns to negate the effect of carbon emission and further the purpose of greenery.

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PULWAMA: Dolphin International School, Pulwama, kickstarted The Up-Cycling Club on world Environment Day, 5th June 2018. The project has been pioneered by the students of DIS to reimagine waste-disposal in Pulwama and to set a system for mobilising various stakeholders towards collective action. The first phase of the project included making of a 200 ltr. compost unit for school, sensitising students about segregation and setting up a maker’s lab to use dry trash for innovative problem solving. Students from all grade levels starting Pre-nursery to Grade 10 are actively involved in managing waste at school.

Each class has two dust-bins handmade by students to collect inorganic and organic trash separately. The organic trash from classes is moved daily to the compost unit. The compost unit is made with the aim to make manure for an on-campus green-house unit that school is setting up. The dry trash collected in school, from home and streets, has been stored in the maker’s lab and students across grades have made multiple innovative products using them. 

Mr. G N Var, President Private School Association, and Mr. Rohail Parrey, founder of Ecopeace also visited Dolphin International school on 5th June to encourage the project and promote the idea of student involvement in community waste-management and social problem-solving. Students took them through their journey of making the compost unit and the maker’s lab and the entire process of sensitising all students across the school. Mr. Var and Mr. Parrey highly appreciated the effort made by the students and their innovative approach towards a critical problem in the valley.

Mr. Var also recognised the effort by the Principal of the school, Ms. Lopa Shah and the chairperson Mr. Farooq Fazli, and mentioned that he sees this project as a benchmark for valuable practices in education. He also recognised the school as the first school in the valley to have pioneered such a significant movement. The Up-cycling Club marks the beginning of the 2nd phase of the project. The club aims to engage 3000+ children in managing waste produced in schools and households in Pulwama by helping schools set up their own recycling units.