Construction of metalled roads, ‘pucca’ houses and development of water supply are among the basic amenities the locals of Drajj village in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir have recently gained from community development under the Panchayat Raj.
According to officials, locals are being employed under community development projects to carry out development work in their region, thereby providing both development and employment.
Many locals believe that more development work has been done in the region in the past two to four years than that carried out in the last two decades.
“Community development has brought development in the area. Locals find it better to work on projects in their vicinity. All the schemes of the government of India and the state government are being implemented and Panchayat is involved in every aspect,” Salam Din, Block Development Officer (BDO) of the Kotranka Budhal block, told ANI on Monday.
He said that development work of around Rs 14 crore was executed in the region last year.
“Under NREGA, the government has directed to employ people from the local community to work on development in their area including work on natural resource management, land development work, and development of water bodies, etc,” Din said.
“These are the work that has to be carried out in every Panchayat area. These work and other schemes are directly benefiting the general beneficiaries,” he added.
One of the locals in the region, Shahbaz Hussain Shah, said that he and his family members are happy with the development work undertaken in the region in the past few years.
“In 2010 or 2012, there was nothing here. There were no ‘pucca’ houses except for a few. Since then, the region has witnessed a lot of development. In this panchayat area, you won’t find many ‘kuccha’ houses anymore,” Shah said.
He said that water pipelines have been laid down and water is now being supplied to houses. “Roads have also been built. Good work has been done in the region. As compared to 2010-12, the situation is much better now. We are happy with the development work. We have received water supply, good roads, employment, houses,” he added.
One of the Panchs told ANI that there are only a few more ‘kuccha’ houses remaining in Ward number 2 area as the rest have been re-constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
Praveen Akhtar, a resident of Drajj village here, expressed gratitude to the government of India for extending basic amenities to the poor local of this far-flung and “neglected” area. She said that almost all the houses in the area are now ‘pucca’.
“The poor people in the area have gained access to water, employment, Pucca houses, and other basic amenities in recent years. I thank the government of India for the same,” she said.
Another local said, “The Panchs and Sarpanchs elected in the region have gotten a lot of development work done in the area. More development work has been undertaken in the last few years than in the 20 years before.”