ITANAGAR, Jun 28: Urban Affairs minister Balo Raja has advised the department officials to work as a team to achieve greater targets.

Addressing senior Urban Development department officials during a coordination and also interactive meeting here on Friday, he advised them to make the department’s presence felt in all the districts.

The minister also advised the department to liaise with the concerned MLAs and DCs in case of any difficulties in connection with land availability for waste management, etc.

He directed the department officials to substantiate with convincing supporting documents, justifications and plans in its proposal for increase in allocation/budget for consideration by the government.

Raja also emphasised the need to accelerate DPC processes for filling up the vacant positions in the department.

Earlier, Urban Affairs commissioner Vivek Pandey highlighted the obligations of the UD department in developing the towns and cities of the state to accommodate the challenges of rapid migration towards cities and towns.

In this regard, he advised all the field officers for conducting regular meetings of DUDA and getting approval for master plans of respective towns, which were already prepared and forwarded to them from the Directorate of Town Planning for its proper planning and implementation.

Pandey underscored the importance of proper planning while citing examples of big cities and towns of the mainland, especially of Shimla, where dearth of drinking water is being experienced, thereby compelling the people to leave the city.

While referring to the directives of the National Green Tribunal, Sri Pandey directed all field executive engineers to strictly ensure submission of reports and returns and data related to its OA No. 606/2018 with respect to legacy, solid and liquid waste.

He directed the department to propose initiatives to bridge the gaps in solid waste management under the “ring fenced amount” as directed by the NGT.

He also directed the executive engineers to submit proposals for setting up of “eco-parks” in the district HQs/towns with provisions for O&M for its self-sustenance.

Advisor to UD minister Techi Kaso stressed the need to focus on effective and practical proposals which are in larger public interests.

He urged the department and its officers to examine estimates/proposals meticulously before submitting them to the government.

In order to win trust and get the department’s allocations enhanced, officers right from the field level up to the level of policy makers should strive hard and carry out their duties with a sense of “belongingness”, he added.

UD chief engineer Taring Darang appealed to the minister to take up with the government rationalisation of allocations, necessitated due to increase in number of notified towns, as well as, rise in public aspirations towards a better ‘ease of living’ and most importantly, keeping in view the directives of the NGT.

Urban Affairs secretary Nyali Ete, senior officials of the zonal office and all the field executive engineers attended the meeting.