General Council meeting held in Leh Hill Council, Leh, reviews achievements under Capex Budget 2019-20

By Reach Ladakh Correspondent Leh, Feb 14, 2020
Leh :

Financial achievements up to ending January 2020 under Capex Budget 2019-20 in Leh district was reviewed during the two day General Council meeting on February 13 and 14 at DC Office Conference Hall. 

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Gyal P Wangyal, Chairman/CEC, Hill Council, Leh.

Gyal P Wangyal informed that the Government has conveyed a ceiling of ₹136.39 crores under Capex Budget 2019-20 for Leh district, which includes ₹ 57.52 crores under regular scheme, ₹12 crores under NABARD, ₹ 2crore under NABARD state share, ₹55.45 crore under Central Share and ₹9.42 crores under State Matching share for centrally sponsored schemes. 

Accordingly, Hill Council, Leh submitted an action plan of ₹ 142.14 crores with a step-up of 10% on the ceiling conveyed under Regular scheme. But, after repeated persuasion the State Govt. has approved only ₹ 57.52 crores under Regular schemes and released total funds of ₹68.32 crores till date. Against the released, ₹23.02 crore has been utilized by the end of January 2020.

Addressing the house, Gyal P Wangyal highlighted the major achievements of present Hill Council Leh in the last 18 months. He said that the UT status for Ladakh is the biggest and historic achievement for the entire Ladakh region.

The house unanimously passed a resolution moved by Councillor Upper Leh Ven. Lobzang Nantyak to express heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead Government of India for granting Union Territory status. The resolution was supported by Opposition leader Gurmet Dorjey.

Other major achievements such as University for Ladakh, up-gradation of Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS) as Deemed University, opening of two new colleges, medical college for Leh, establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) in Leh as an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of AYUSH at an estimated cost of ₹47.25 crore, SDA and other allowances for govt. employees of Ladakh was highlighted. 

Connecting Ladakh with northern grid, implementation of Saubhagya and Ujala schemes, extension of power from 4 to 8 hours through DG sets in other villages of Leh, implementation of MODI schemes, Kisan Samman Nidi Yojana, sanctioning of 26 mobile towers under Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) in unconnected areas of Leh, digitization of Panchayats, free LPG connection to BPL women under Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojana, opening of new tourist routes in Leh, online of AIR Leh, inauguration of 'Special Grade Diesel' for Ladakh, amendment of Council Act in 2018 etc were some other achievements.

Gyal P Wangyal informed about the initiatives of present Hill council in devising policies for environment, education, tourism and health sectors for Leh district. He said that a committee of both Leh and Kargil Council is working on to bring more amendments in the Act of Hill Council. 

Regarding shortage of Junior Engineers in the district, Wangyal said that by the end of this month posts of Junior Engineers will be outsourced and preference will be given to locals. 
Responding to the questions raised by opposition councillors regarding the concern of Job and Environment protection in Ladakh, MP Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said that in 1990 govt. promised to give Hill Council for Leh but fulfilled the demand only in 1995 and since 25 years the Act of Council is being amended continuously. Fulfilling all the demands in merely 6 months after Ladakh gets UT status is unfair and impossible. He assured that PM Modi lead centre govt is the only government which cares for Ladakh and will protect its interests.

Discussion on the projects under PWD including PMGSY, BADP, CRF, NABARD and other sponsored scheme of PHE was carried out.

Regarding completion of Choglamsar Bridge over Indus River, Superintendent Engineer, PWD Leh assured that the remaining work will start in April and the bridge will be completed by the first week of June.

Gyal P Wangyal directed all the Executive Engineers and district officers to give priority to far-flung, unconnected and border villages considering their backwardness and short working season while executing works.

The issue in the delay of execution of small projects under the Rural Development Department was also raised. Councillors complained about the reluctant attitude of contractors in taking small projects and poor response towards tenders. They suggested giving relaxation in the tendering process for small works so that all-important works at the village level could be completed timely.

Opening of Project Tsangda in other parts of the district and Handicraft and Handloom market ‘Leh Haat’ in the premises of Handicraft & Handloom department to provide modern marketing facilities to the artisans of Ladakh was also put forward.

On the second day, Phuntsog Stanzin, EC Agriculture expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his vision to develop Ladakh as a carbon-neutral region. He highlighted the implementation of Mission Organic Development Initiative (MODI) to convert Leh into an organic district by 2025.  He said that that ₹500 crore under MODI is proposed for UT Ladakh and both Leh and Kargil district will get ₹ 250 crore each for the project. He also informed about the constitution of Apex Committee at UT level, Technical Advisory Committee and District Level Executive Committee at the district level for implementation and monitoring of MODI schemes in Ladakh.  

Discussion on seed distribution, soil health card, Kisan Credit Card, Polycarbonate Greenhouse, organic market, etc. was carried out.
Tsering Sandup, Deputy Chairman informed that ₹ 11 crore MRI machine will be procured soon for SNM Hospital Leh with the help of Airport Authority of India under CSR schemes. Moreover, under CSR of SECI, Sub District Hospital Diskit and PHC Khaltse will be equipped with   ₹ 14 lakh ultrasound machines.

Discussion on the shortage of doctors, medical insurance, and problems in availing Golden card under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, etc. was held.
Answering to the concern of councilors regarding reservation of seats in medical, engineering and PG courses in Jammu and Kashmir Universities, MP Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal informed the meeting that he has already met with Lieutenant Governor J&K regarding the continuation of reserved seats for students of Ladakh. It is clear that until higher education of Ladakh gets streamlined, the present quota in all higher institutions in UT J&K will remain. 
EC Mumtaz Hussain highlighting achievements under Social Welfare said that a total of 1442 (old age, widow and disable) pension case with ₹ 1000 p/m is being directly transferred under DBT in Leh district. He said that earlier it was only 300 quota with ₹ 300 p/m only in the district.  Discussion on State Marriage Assistance Scheme, Pre/Post Matric Scholarship and other schemes of social welfare were also held.
EC Konchok Stanzin informed about bringing Pashmina of Ladakh under the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) mark. He said that Pashmina of Ladakh will get its identity soon with proper value addition.

Likewise, all other sectors were reviewed.