JAMMU, Jan 29 (Agencies): In a bid to strengthen administration and fix their accountability at the grassroots level after its flagship “Back to Village” programme last year, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered administrative secretaries to dedicate one day a week for public hearing to address their grievances.
Scheduled to start next month, the exercise will see 25 officers comprising 22 from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and two in the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) attending to public grievances on four days every month — two days each in Jammu and Srinagar, a government order said.
Last year, the administration twice dispatched 5,000 officers for a week under the “Back to Village” programme covering nearly 4,500 panchayats across the Union Territory with the objective of empowerment and development of panchayats.
The first-of-its-kind initiative to reach out to the people at the grassroots level was held from June 20 to 27 followed by the second phase from November 25 to 30 last year.
“As a policy of the government to reach out to the common masses to address their grievances, the administrative secretaries shall dedicate one day in a week as public hearing day,” the order, issued late on Tuesday by Secretary, General Administration Department (GAD), Farooq Ahmad Lone, said.
The order, issued on behalf of Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, said the administrative secretary would hold public hearings from 10 am to 4 pm as per the schedule of the public hearing.
In addition, the order said administrative secretaries will also visit the districts allotted to them to oversee the programme once in a month to hear the public grievances.
The latest step comes just days after 34 Union ministers visited different parts of Jammu and Kashmir from January 18 to 24 as part of the Centre’s week-long public outreach programme post abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories in August
The Union ministers addressed nearly 60 public meetings, mostly in Jammu region, and explained to the people about the benefits of abrogating Article 370, developmental works initiated under various centrally sponsored schemes and inaugurated various developmental projects.