JAMMU, JANUARY 11: Governor Satya Pal Malik attended the Oath ceremony function of the newly elected Sarpanches of Jammu Division, organized by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, here today. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and K. Vijay Kumar, Advisors to Governor, Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor; and many senior officers from Civil and Police were present on the occasion.
Governor congratulated the Sarpanches on being elected as representatives of their respective Panchayats. He observed that the Panchayati Raj Institutions can truly represent and fulfill the developmental aspirations of people due to direct participation of people in planning development of their areas and implementing Government welfare schemes under close monitoring.
Governor complimented Sarpanches and Panches for their whole hearted participation in the Panchayat elections which were held after a gap of 7 years and saw a voter turnout of 74.1 %. He lauded people and Government functionaries for making it a well conducted and incident free elections even under very trying circumstances. He described it as the victory of democracy in a country which has faith in democratic institutions since time immemorial.
Governor observed that major amendments in the Panchayati Raj Act have been incorporated through which the Government intends massive devolution of funds, functions and functionaries of 19 departments to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. He advised the Sarpanches to use funds judiciously and urged them to ensure development which is in sync with the natural environment. He stressed that survival and existence of vegetation, trees, ponds, indigenous animal species etc should be taken into consideration while formulating development plans.
Governor assured every possible support of his Administration to the Sarpanches and Panches and observed that planned development of any area would be done in consensus with the Panches and Sarpnaches of respective Panchyats.