SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Administration has nearly completed the appointment of 10,000 educated and young individuals from different villages across the Union Territory as Lumbedars and Village Guards (Chowkidars).
This reformative measure, which began a few months ago, aims to strengthen the grassroots level of governance in the region, the admin said in a statement.
The information was revealed during a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, and attended by various officials including the DG, CID; Commissioner Secretary GAD; Commissioner Secretary IT & Information; Divisional Commissioners; Secretary PD&MD; Secretary, Revenue, and all Deputy Commissioners of the UT, either physically or virtually.
Dr Mehta commended both the Divisional and District Administration for achieving this feat in record time. He emphasized the need to provide training to these young individuals to sensitize them about their important role as frontline workers who must work for the welfare and well-being of their villages.
He urged authorities to ensure that these workers are given due respect and recognition as they will act as a bridge between the common masses and higher authorities. He advised the creation of a WhatsApp group for these workers to enable continuous communication between them and the District and Divisional Administration.
Dr Mehta noted that as these workers are educated and have a good reputation in their villages, their services will be authentic, genuine, and seamless with respect to ground level verification about the implementation of different welfare programs. He emphasized their role in reporting malpractices such as encroachment of state land and other incidents of laxity or unprofessional conduct on the part of government officials in their respective villages. Their reporting will be vital in taking action against the delinquents.
The Chief Secretary highlighted that these workers’ role during accidents and disasters in their areas would provide the Administration with instant information for early intervention and rescue operations. He also noted that they would act as a link between people and the administration to raise genuine grievances before the authorities for timely redressal.
The meeting revealed that there are 7,056 sanctioned posts of Lumbedars and 2,718 posts of Chowkidars in the UT. Out of these, 2,220 previously appointed Lumbedars and 1,165 Chowkidars were found eligible to continue working after verifying their character and antecedents. The process was initiated to replace the 4,832 Lumbedars and 1,553 Chowkidars who were found worth replacing as per the rules in vogue. All candidates, including the old continuing ones, were selected based on merit and their character and antecedents were verified by concerned authorities.
The meeting also discussed revamping the role and responsibilities of these workers as per the requirements of modern times. This will bring a change in the administration, transforming it towards a more responsive, responsible, transparent, and accountable entity in discharging its day-to-day affairs.