Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022

Amid Rising Covid-19 Cases, Govt Announces 'Festival' Of Back To Village In Kashmir

After abrogation of Article 370, the governmenent's announcement of 'Festival' Of Back To Village is the first one at such a scale.

Representational image. PTI Photo/S. Irfan

As the Covid-19 cases have gone up in Jammu and Kashmir with Jammu now reporting more cases than Kashmir Valley for the past few days, the government amid pandemic has announced a massive month long public outreach programme called back to villages.

“We are confident that the entire next month will be a festival of public grievance redressal, festival of public service delivery and festival of delivery of development at gram panchayat level,” J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal said Saturday evening while addressing a press conference.

“This time the administration has decided to hold a three-week pre-back to village Jan Abhiyan which will be organized from September 10 to September 20,” Kansal said.

The programme, he said, will have another three components. “The three pillars will be the redressal of public grievances (Jan Sunvaiyee), public service delivery (Adhikar Abhiyan) and delivery of development at Gram Panchayat level (Unat Gram Abhiyan),” he added.

He said Jan Abhiyan will conclude on September 30 and with it back to village’s program's 3rd component will start from October 2 till October 12, when, according to him, “actually all the works would be analyzed, re-verified and rechecked that is why this phase will be an action programme where government will be meeting the demands and grievances of people during first two phases.”

In absence of elections in Jammu and Kashmir since June 2018 when the PDP-BJP government fell after the BJP pulled out of the alliance, J&K govt would launch such programmes to reach out to people.

Last year when the programme was launched J&K’s political parties criticized it terming it as a “bureaucratic attempt to replace political parties in J&K.”  Under the programme around 5,000 officers reach out to the people as they visit each Panchayat to listen to their issues and redress them on the spot. After abrogation of Article 370, this announcement by the government is the first one at such a scale.

The massive public outreach programme of the government is taking place when the government says the Covid-19 cases are rising.  On Saturday government said 1251 new positive cases of Covid-19 were reported, 739 from Jammu and 512 from Kashmir, taking the total number of positive cases in J&K to 42241.

Also, 15 Covid-19 deaths have been reported, 10 from Jammu and five from Kashmir division in the past 24 hours. So far, 770 people have died due to the Covid, 91 in Jammu and 679 in Kashmir.