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Haven’t come with political agenda, Kashmir issue not my domain: Guv.

In his first interaction with his advisors and bureaucrats at secretariat here Governor Satya Pal Malik Thursday said he hasn’t come with any political agenda to J&K and his focus would be governance.

“I want to make it clear that I haven’t come with any political agenda. I am here to provide better governance and reach out to people by ensuring development,” Malik said at an introductory meeting with his three advisors, chief secretary, state police chief and all administrative secretaries at governor’s secretariat here this morning.

During the meeting that went on for almost an hour the Governor said “political issue of Kashmir was not my domain”.

“I am not here for political resolution of Kashmir. Whatever has to be done on that front, it will be done at Prime Minister’s level. My focus is governance,” a senior official quoted Malik telling the meeting. “It is not my domain to work on the political front.”

The Governor told the meeting that J&K needed a sincere outreach to redress day-to-day problems of people, said an official statement. He told the meeting that shortly after he reached Srinagar last week, he received a complaint of water-logging in Mustafabad, HMT on Srinagar outskirts.

I gave instructions for tackling the problem immediately. This may be a small gesture, but people appreciated it as they felt that their writ is running now,” he said, adding the state administration needs to function with renewed efficiency, speed and accountability and deliver quick results on the ground on development and governance fronts so that the people get much-needed relief and feel change on the ground.

71-year-old Malik, a former union minister and BJP’s national vice president, was sworn in as 13th governor of J&K last Thursday. This is for the first time in J&K’s history when a career politician has been chosen by New Delhi for the assignment considered sensitive and critical, particularly when the state has been under the Governor’s rule for more than two months now, following collapse of Mehbooba Mufti-led government on June 19.

Stressing upon the need for ensuring rapid, people-centric governance, Governor enumerated short and long-term measures to be taken to achieve the objective. He said strengthening and expansion of grievance redressal mechanism, timely execution of development projects, public outreach, attendance in offices, strengthening anti-corruption mechanism, expediting recruitment process/SRO-43 cases & regularization under SRO-520, intensifying anti-encroachment drive, improving traffic management, augmenting power supply and availability of potable water, supplementing human resource in health and educational institutions, conservation of water bodies, effective flood mitigation and creating career progression avenues for officers/officials at every level would be priority areas for his administration.

“Instructions have already been passed for setting up grievance cells in offices of all deputy commissioners across the state with a designated nodal officer. The deputy commissioners will dedicate one day every week exclusively for hearing public grievances and ensuring appropriate redressal,” Governor said in the statement and added that the advisors and other government functionaries shall be regularly visiting various parts of the state to ensure on-the-spot redress of public grievances.

Governor said he would always remain available personally to address any issue facing administration in smooth discharge of their duties. “I will be also available to public to listen to their grievances,” he said.

“J&K police is making huge sacrifices for maintaining peace and rule of law in the state,” the Governor said in the statement, adding the government would be announcing a slew of welfare measures for force shortly. He expressed grief over killing of four policemen in a militant attack at Shopian on Wednesday.

Earlier, on his arrival at the secretariat, the Governor was presented ceremonial guard of honor by a contingent of J&K Police.

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