STATE TIMES NEWS SRINAGAR: To further empower the urban local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir and fulfilling the persistent demands of the elected representatives, the Governor on Wednesday announced several new initiatives. Addressing the elected Presidents/Vice Presidents of Urban Local Bodies of Kashmir Division at a function held here, the Governor announced the delegation of financial powers to each Municipal Council/Committee to the tune Rs. 25 lakh, additional grant of Rs. 50 lakh to each Municipal Council/ Committee and hundred percent coverage of street lighting in all municipalities through EESL on the pattern of Jammu/Srinagar Municipal Corporations. The Governor also announced life and health insurance coverage to all Safaikarmcharis, provision of one vehicle for each municipal body, security and accommodation as per categorization, extension of benefits under 7th Pay Commission to Urban Local Bodies employees, and one open Gym and Ladies-cum-Children Park for each Municipal body. While interacting with the heads of urban local bodies, the Governor observed that the main objective of meeting with them is to get acquainted with their problems on ground. He said the Municipal Bodies have an important role to play in the development of Jammu and Kashmir and they are the key ground level functionaries, who can fulfill the aspirations of the people. He stressed the need for holding such interactions frequently and said that such platforms are very useful for ensuring speedy implementation of various developmental programmes. The Governor lauded the exemplary courage of the elected Members during the elections and said that Government will take every possible step for their security and other logistics so that they can deliver efficiently and fearlessly on ground. He urged them to work with dedication and sincerity to fulfill the expectations of the people who have voted them power. Advisor to Governor, K.K. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Deeraj Gupta also spoke on the occasion. Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmed Khan, Director Local Bodies, Kashmir, Farooq Ahmed Rather and officers of Raj Bhavan were also present on the occasion. Earlier, the Presidents/Vice Presidents of Urban Local Bodies highlighted their issues and demands relating to the strengthening of infrastructural facilities, security, accommodation, transport enhancement of remuneration etc.
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