Heads of Missions from 24 countries --- representing different geographical regions, have reached Srinagar on a two day visit on Wednesday
The envoys who are there to witness the “Block Diwas”, visited Magam in Budgam District of Central Kashmir. Photo Credit: Ministry of External Affairs
Heads of Missions from 24 countries — representing different geographical regions, have reached Srinagar on a two day visit on Wednesday (February 17, 2021). The visit which has been organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is expected to give the envoys an opportunity to interact with the general public and their local level people’s representatives on the functioning and empowerment of grass root democratic institutions.
On day one through direct interaction they got a chance to understand the devolution of power, developmental activities, local issues, grievance redress mechanisms among others.”
During their stay in Srinagar, according to sources, “Interacting with the local media, civil society members, and the visiting envoys will also get to interact with the elected representatives of Block Development Council (BDC) and District Development Council (DDC) from the UT of J&K.”
The envoys who are there to witness the “Block Diwas”, visited Magam in Budgam District of Central Kashmir. And were briefed about Magam and the developmental activities undertaken in the recent past in Budgam, by the local District Development Council Chairperson. They also got an insight on the people centric schemes which are being implemented by the government in that place.
What is Block Diwas?
According to sources, it is a weekly public outreach initiative at the district level. Why? It gives the District Administration officials, along with the Block Development Council Chairperson, Sarpanchs, to address issues raised by the public on the spot. It also is the time when the progress on the development work in various sectors is reviewed, and services are provided to the public at their door steps.
The officials also try to raise awareness on the various developmental initiatives and schemes for the people.
The Mayor of Srinagar, Chairpersons of Urban local bodies and Chairpersons of BDC and DDCs during lunch shared their vision for development centric administration in the decentralized and empowered grassroots framework. They highlighted that the DDC elections were conducted in a peaceful transparent and fair manner.
“For further job creation, the local representatives urged the envoys to bring tourism and investments into J&K,” sources said. They also discussed with the envoys about sharing of best practices and advanced technologies within the field of horticulture including apple cultivation. The environment sustainability, women empowerment, urban development and training of local body officials was also discussed with the visiting envoys.
Visit to Hazratbal
According to informed sources they also visited the famous Hazratbal Shrine, the holiest and the only domed mosque in Srinagar. This 17th Century shrine has historical significance as the holy relic of revered Prophet Muhammad is preserved in the mosque.
Who is visiting?
The visit comes 18 months after India revoked the Article 370, and the state was bifurcated in two Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. This is the third such delegation visiting the region since August 5, 2019.
The HOMs who are there include Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, EU, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Estonia, Finland, and France.