Srinagar, Jun 14: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Thursday pointed to the dire need of holding elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)without any further loss of time.
The Governor said elections to municipalities were last held 14 years ago and referred to the very large Incentive Grants under the XIII Finance Commission which had been lost and those under the XIV Finance Commission which may also be lost unless urban governance was restored.
An official spokesperson said that the Governor told this to Sat Paul Sharma, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, who met Vohra at the Raj Bhavan.
He said Sharma briefed the Governor about the functioning of the departments under his charge and the steps being taken by the Housing and Urban Development Department for improving the basic infrastructure facilities in the cities and towns of the State and the to-date implementation status of various Centrally Sponsored Schemes for which his departments are responsible.
The Governor advised Sharma to initiate effective steps to ensure that there is no construction in any town or city which has not been cleared by the concerned authorities.
“Vohra also advised him to enforce town planning in all urban areas; ensure against encroachments and unauthorised constructions; enforce strict adherence to building bye-laws and facade control of all new constructions; garbage collection and planned disposal systems; sewage treatment and other required measures for people to live in clean, sanitary and uncongested towns and cities,” the spokesperson said.
The Governor observed that if there is any lapse in the most stringent adherence to Master Plans and Building Bye-Laws the natural beauty of the Valley and other scenic areas in the State shall be wiped out in the coming years.
Pointing to the loss of the most magnificent Wullar Lake and the continuing degradation of the Dal and Nigeen Lakes, the Governor urged Sharma to take urgent steps to save these beautiful water bodies from extinction.