Advisor for Department of Housing & Urban Development

B. B. Vyas

Despite a low level of industrial development, Jammu and Kashmir is urbanizing very fast. Every one out of four persons of our State live in our towns and together they contribute as much as 68 percent of our GDP.

However one disturbing aspect of our urban growth is that many residents of the small towns and the surrounding villages are migrating to Srinagar and Jammu, which is stressing the limited infrastructure of our capital cities. This trend can be reversed if the physical and social infrastructure of our district and other towns are improved.

During the past three years we have taken a number of important initiatives in this direction. Encroachments from public places in the towns have been improved, health and sanitation conditions have been improved and a large number of development projects have been taken up to give a much-needed facelift to our towns.

Elections to the Municipal Councils and Municipal Committees have been held after a gap of nearly three decades and a system of transparency and accountability in urban governance has been introduced.

In this context the web site of the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies in Kashmir would be a step forward for further modernizing and streamlining the administration of our towns. The website would provide information on various aspects of the governance of towns and eventually many civic services can be provided on line through the Internet.

This is the first step towards e-governance of our towns. I congratulate the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies of Kashmir Division for taking this important initiative and hope that similar initiatives shall be taken in other towns in near future. I also hope that the web site shall be updated regularly and various on line services shall be introduced for the facility of the citizens.