Govt to spend Rs 1,700 crore for J&K panchayats

Srinagar: In order to strengthen the grassroots democracy in Jammu and Kashmir, the administration has decided to spend Rs 1,700 crore to empower the newly constituted panchayats and give them control of 21 departments to be headed by Panchs and Sarpanchs, the media reported on Thursday.

The plans were prepared soon after Panchayat elections for nearly 4,500 Panchayat Halqas– a cluster of villages represented by a sarpanch — in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were successfully conducted in 2018 despite many fears and apprehensions and number of boycott calls by militant elements.

Earlier, rejecting Pakistan’s efforts to create a false narrative about abrogation of Article 370, hundreds of Gujjars, Bakarwals and other Kashmiri sightseers from Kupwara, Tangdhar and Handwara on Wednesday celebrated ‘Bangus Awaam Mela’ to commemorate the first anniversary of scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Rustic games like horse racing, sheep herding, Tug of War and Wood Chopping competitions were organized on the first day in which the Gujjar, Bakerwal communities from various Bhaiks living in the meadows during the summer months actively participated.

On the request of senior community members, a veterinary and medical camp was also organized by the local Rashtriya Rifles unit. A total of 679 patients including 49 children were given treatment, advice and free medicines by the doctors. The veterinary camp provided medical aid to 135 livestock in addition to surgical assistance to the wounded.

On the second day of the festival, the audience enjoyed folk songs by the Gujjar community, patriotic songs by local children, dances and a Karate Display by the Handwara Kudo Association in addition to the finals of the village games.

Handwara residents celebrate one year of Article 370 abrogation by organising ‘Bangas Awaam Mela’.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Courtesy, YouTube)

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