SRINAGAR, OCT 18: Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, presided over a high-level meeting of civil and police administration to assess the preparations for celebrating the 'UT Foundation Day' on the 31st of October. The meeting, which was attended by Administrative Secretaries and top-level police officers, focused on ideas for commemorating this significant occasion and showcasing the positive transformations that have taken place in the region since its transition into a Union Territory.
Dr. Mehta emphasized the importance of involving common citizens and PRI (Panchayati Raj Institutions) representatives in the celebrations, recognizing that they are the ultimate beneficiaries of the changes that have transpired. He urged departments to encourage the public to share videos depicting the changes they have witnessed and reward those who provide quality feedback. He stressed the significance of respecting and recording the views of the people for future interventions.
The Chief Secretary instructed the IT Department to launch competitions on the 'MyGov' portal to encourage participation from the general public. Additionally, he directed the Culture Department to organize cultural events throughout the Union Territory, giving everyone an opportunity to showcase their creativity. He called upon the Education Department to engage students in the celebrations, as they represent the future well-being of the region.
Dr. Mehta highlighted the substantial changes that have occurred in various sectors, including social, economic, and infrastructure improvements. He praised the efforts to ensure transparent, responsive, and accountable governance through IT initiatives, such as e-Office, online services, BEAMS, and PaySys. Moreover, he noted the significant increase in infrastructure projects, rising from approximately 1,500 to around 43,000 projects in the past year, with nearly 2 lakh projects completed in the four years since J&K's transition into a Union Territory.
The Chief Secretary emphasized the importance of transparency in recruitment processes and asserted that the Union Territory has excelled in providing unbiased and corruption-free administration to its citizens. He urged all departments to prepare documents and videos highlighting their achievements and to make public all the reforms, achievements, and changes that have occurred since 2019, collaborating with the Information Department to reach the people through suitable channels.
Dr. Mehta also encouraged the Rural Development Department (RDD) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to focus on the developmental scenario of Panchayats and Wards, as narrated by the people themselves, along with the publication of department-wise compendiums. In addition to these initiatives, departments were tasked with promoting unity and celebrating the rich heritage and historical legacy of the Union Territory. The School Education Department was asked to host cultural events, including painting competitions, art and photography exhibitions, debates, and quizzes, with winners to be felicitated. The district administration would also carry out community service and donation drives in all public institutions as part of the festivities.
To ensure widespread awareness, social media campaigns will be organized to highlight the Union Territory's all-round progress and development across various sectors, with hashtags such as #JKFoundationDay, #JKTowardsTransparency, #PovertyFreeJK, #JKPride, and #UnityinDiversity by the administration at the local, district, and divisional levels.