Hong Kong – Steering Committee on District Governance convenes first meeting (with photos)

Steering Committee on District Governance convenes first meeting (with photos)


     The Steering Committee on District Governance chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS), Mr Chan Kwok-ki, convened the first meeting today (July 12).
      Mr Chan said, “With Hong Kong embarking on a new journey to advance from stability to prosperity, the Government’s district governance must keep pace with the times. The Steering Committee chaired by me will holistically strengthen high-level leadership and co-ordination, enhance the capacity and effectiveness of district governance, and respond to the needs of the community at large.”
     The Steering Committee focused the discussion of the meeting on five areas of community interests, namely (1) expanding after-school care service and enhancing support for parents; (2) caring for the elderly and enhancing community support; (3) fostering clean markets and mobilising the community to participate in anti-rodent work; (4) enhancing public order and combatting crimes on all fronts; and (5) improving pedestrian facilities and ensuring road safety. The meeting formulated strategies in relation to the above five areas, which will be followed up by the Task Force on District Governance chaired by the Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration (DCS) to finalise relevant measures for implementation by relevant bureaux and departments.
     Items identified by the Steering Committee in the five areas for implementation include:

(1) To launch at full steam the School-based After School Care Service Pilot Scheme in the new school year to allow primary students in need to stay after school to receive care and learning support, while enabling parents who are bound by after-school child care duties to work and improve their livelihood;

(2) To improve and set up more fitness equipment for the elderly; to provide umbrellas and hiking poles for borrowing in large parks to provide the elderly in need with the ease of visiting parks or taking a walk; and to step up efforts in identifying and caring for the elderly and carers in need for referral to social welfare units for support;

(3)To improve the environmental hygiene of public markets and cooked food markets, including improving the hardware and management of toilets, strengthening inspection and enforcement, and expediting overhaul of stalls; and to enhance anti-rodent work, including exploring the adoption of new rodent detection and control technologies, strengthening nighttime rodent prevention and control work, etc;

(4) To strengthen the patrol coverage, as well as the work and visibility of enforcement, of law enforcement agencies such as the Police; and

(5) To expand the repaving of footpaths for a more comfortable walking environment, and install new auxiliary devices with red light beam projection at pedestrian crossings for improving road safety.  

     The Steering Committee also reviewed at the meeting the arrangements for displaying publicity materials to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and examined the report on the work of the District Services and Community Care Teams.
      “The Steering Committee’s discussion today covered a wide range of policy areas including support for children and the elderly, environmental hygiene, law and order, and road safety. The various items identified by the Steering Committee will not only provide better support for specific groups such as children and the elderly, but also benefit all members of the public at the district level. They will respond to people’s needs in various aspects from both the micro and macro perspectives. I will lead all bureaux and departments to work together and improve district governance, so that we can respond proactively to the aspirations of the people and enhance their sense of achievement, satisfaction and security,” Mr Chan added.
     The Government announced on May 2 the proposals on improving district governance, which cover reforming the District Councils and strengthening the district governance structure. The Steering Committee chaired by the CS will take a leading role in the overall strategies, policies and measures, work priorities and resource allocation of district governance, whereas the Task Force on District Governance chaired by the DCS will steer and co-ordinate the district work of various bureaux and departments and, as necessary, co-ordinate inter-departmental and/or cross-district issues.
     The terms of reference and membership of the Steering Committee are in Annex I and Annex II respectively.

Hong Kong – Chairman of Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders reviews CSD passing-out parade (with photos)

Chairman of Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders reviews CSD passing-out parade (with photos)


     The Correctional Services Department (CSD) held a passing-out parade at the Hong Kong Correctional Services Academy today (April 21). The Chairman of the Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders, Ms Tsui Li, reviewed the parade, marking the graduation of 24 Officers and 63 Assistant Officers II.

     Speaking at the parade, Ms Tsui commended correctional officers for sparing no effort to maintain a safe and secure custodial environment, enhance rehabilitation programmes and foster community education. She pointed out that in recent years, arising from a large number of people with radical thoughts and violent behaviours being detained in correctional institutions, the CSD has adopted a nip-it-in-the-bud strategy and made necessary arrangements through flexible deployment of resources in a timely manner, while strengthening supervision and intelligence collection, thus preventing the prisons from being turned into bases for subversion against China and Hong Kong. 

     Ms Tsui mentioned that to address the special rehabilitation needs of the persons in custody (PICs) with radical thoughts and violent behaviours, the CSD has introduced a programme named “Project PATH” to help PICs disengage from radical thoughts and violent behaviours progressively, establish correct values, and enhance their sense of national identity. In addition, the CSD launched an initiative “Project JET” to provide more employment opportunities, including those in the Greater Bay Area, for young PICs and rehabilitated persons. Moreover, professionals from different sectors have been invited to host life planning courses held in institutions to help PICs prepare themselves for employment and further studies.

     She also pointed out that the CSD launched a number of new services in the past year, including the establishment of multi-purpose family and rehabilitation service centres, expanding psychological counselling services to the community and further strengthening the psychological and counselling services for rehabilitated offenders and their families. 

     She said that the CSD has been actively promoting community education, and has been organising diversified activities under the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project to instil in young people correct values, enhance their awareness of safeguarding the country and home as well as nurture them to be responsible and law-abiding citizens. 

     During the parade, Ms Tsui presented the Principal’s Shield to Officer Mr Yu Tak-ho and the Golden Whistle to three Assistant Officers II, Ms Tsang Fai-ying, Mr Lee Ho-man and Mr Wong Heung-yin, for their outstanding performance in the recruit training.

     Ms Tsui encouraged graduates to uphold the CSD’s professionalism and fearless spirit to perform their duties with a view to creating a better and harmonious Hong Kong.

Hong Kong – Steering Committee on Northern Metropolis holds second meeting

Steering Committee on Northern Metropolis holds second meeting


     The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, chaired the second meeting of the Steering Committee on the Northern Metropolis today (April 11).
     During the meeting, members of the Steering Committee discussed and provided comments on the planning of San Tin Technopole, a major development project in the Northern Metropolis with strong synergy with the key innovation and technology (I&T) development cluster in Shenzhen that can drive Hong Kong’s development as an international hub for I&T. It would also become a new community for quality, healthy and green living.
     The meeting also noted the progress of bureaux and departments in putting forward initiatives and proposals for formulating the action agenda and implementation plan for the Northern Metropolis to be released later this year. 
     The meeting noted the work so far of the Advisory Committee on the Northern Metropolis chaired by the Financial Secretary and the Task Force for Collaboration on the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy led by the Deputy Financial Secretary on the Hong Kong side with Shenzhen, both having held their first meetings. The meeting also provided steer on ways to better promote and engage the public on the Northern Metropolis.
     The Steering Committee on the Northern Metropolis, chaired by the Chief Executive involving key political officials, was established in December 2022 to provide high-level policy steer and supervision for the development of the area.

Consultative Committee for Ministries of Mines and Coal Holds Meeting in Indore, Madhya Pradesh

A meeting of the Consultative Committee for Ministry of Mines and Coal was held today in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The meeting was chaired by Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union  Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs and was attended by Members of Parliament; Shri Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary ,Mines,  Shri Amrit Lal Meena, Secretary ,Coal and  other Senior officers.

Consultative Committee for Ministry of Mines and Coal has been constituted by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to provide a forum for informal discussion between the Members of the Parliament and the Union Minister on the policies and the working of the Ministries.

Agenda of the meeting for the Ministry of the Mines was Mining Reforms and their Impacts and Action Plan for auction of 500 mineral blocks by 2023-24. After the introductory remarks by Shri Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, a brief presentation on the subject was made by Dr. Veena Kumar Dermal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines.

She highlighted that since the landmark reforms made in 2015 to introduce auction as the method of allocation of mineral resources in the country, 214 mineral blocks have been auctioned. It was also informed that Number of blocks auctioned per year has increased three times since 2021 amendment. As compared to auction of 108 blocks in six years from 2015 to 2021, 106 blocks have been auctioned in one and half years since April, 2021.

The auctioned blocks which have been operationalized have resulted in increase in revenues of the States such as Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Although, number of working auctioned mines is miniscule (36) in comparison to working non-auctioned mines (405), the premium collection from auctioned mines is surpassing the royalty collection from all the working mines. For 2021-22, total auction premium from the auctioned mines was Rs. 21,148.04 Crores in three States (Odisha, Karnataka & AP) as compared to Rs.21,267.64 Crores from royalty of all the working mines. The same trend could be seen for the current financial year also. 

The amendment in the Act also removed restrictions on transfer of mineral concessions which has enabled transfer of mining leases in nine cases. This has enabled transfer of mining leases in case of disinvestment of PSUs for example, Nilachal Ispat Ltd. was disinvested Rs.12,100 Crore and it is also facilitating merger and acquisitions in the sector.

National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) has been established to provide necessary financial support to mineral exploration in the country. Till July, 2022, Rs. 1,809.42 cr. has been approved for various projects and Rs. 477.16 cr. has been spent from NMET fund in various exploration activities. In the year 2021-22 alone, record amount of Rs.751.43 cr. was approved and Rs. 124.71 cr. was spent in exploration of mineral resources.

It was also briefed to the Members of the Committee that till September, 2022, Rs. 70,107 cr. has been collected in District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) and 2,52,995 projects worth Rs. 63,534 cr. has been sanctioned for various activities for welfare of persons and areas affected by mining related operations.

 Members of the Parliament appreciated the efforts made by the Ministry of Mines in reforming the sector. They also gave valuable suggestions regarding the guidelines related to DMFs for effective utilization of funds for mining affected areas and the inhabitants. The Minister of Mines assured the members that all the suggestions would be deliberated for further necessary action.



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44th Executive Committee meeting of NMCG held under the chairmanship of DG,NMCG

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) organised the 44th meeting of the Executive Committee yesterday under the chairmanship of Shri G. Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG.  In the meeting, 13 projects pertaining to geo-mapping in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi, sewerage management in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, river front development works in Uttarakhand, wetland conservation, Arth Ganga and refurbishment of gates of Belia Circular Canal in Kolkata were approved. The estimated cost of these projects is around Rs. 818 crores.

For scientific geo-mapping of River Ganga and its tributaries, 3 projects were approved. These include ‘Fluvial Geomorphology mapping of Hindon River Basin’ by NEER. Hindon River is a second-level tributary of the Ganga River. The mapping of point sources of pollution as well as fluvial geomorphological changes brought about by anthropogenic activity or natural factors will aid in tributary river rejuvenation and bring about a bottom-up approach for maintaining the health of the main river systems. The prime objectives of this project are delineation of fluvial geomorphological features along the Hindon river basin, identification of decadal changes in fluvial geomorphological, delineation of stream network and suitable recharge zones, delineation of point sources of pollutant input close to the confluence of the Hindon river analysis and GIS, architectural interventions on Sustainable River Embankment Strategies and identifying potential zones for ghat development. The estimated cost of this project is Rs. 16.4 lakhs. A similar proposal for Dehradun – ‘Geo-Ganga: Space-based mapping & Monitoring of Ganga River’ using UAV/Survey and remote sensing techniques costing Rs. 5.4 crore was also given the go ahead in the meeting. This project will be implemented by the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun. 

Another project for ‘Provision of Services for acquisition, processing & delivery of high resolution images, thematic layer of drain, sandmining, illegal dumping, encroachment inriverbed, land use/land cover map using airborne LiDAR & optical sensor’ was approved. This will be done in NCT Delhi and parts of Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Baghpat of Uttar Pradesh and Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand costing about Rs. Rs.12.65 crore.

For sewerage management in the Ganga basin, 5 projects were approved. These include STP and I&D works in Supaul Bihar at an estimated cost of Rs. 57.09 crore involving development of 3 STPs (STP-1: 8.9 MLD; STP-2: 1.9 MLD; STP-3: 1.1 MLD), 6 drain tapping, 6 I&D structures for the drains etc. Another STP and I&D project for Bihar was sanctioned for Ramnagar town that includes 2 STPs of 4.5 MLD capacity each and interception & diversion works costing      Rs. 56.97 crore.

A big project for Mathura on River Yamuna was also sanctioned costing around Rs. 282 crore involving construction of a new 60 MLD STP, 4 I&D structures, I&D network laying of 1.97 km etc. One project in Uttarakhand including interception & diversion, STP works for Muni Ki Reti, Neelkanth Mahadev, Jonk Swargashram at Rishikesh was approved at an estimated cost of       Rs. 91 crores. 

Another big sewerage management project for construction of a new 65 MLD STP at Garden Reach in Kolkata, West Bengal was also approved by the EC at an estimated cost of Rs. 275.07 crore. Other works in this project include upgradation/repair of 8 SPS, civil and E&M work, construction/repair of approach road to the STP etc.

For river front development, two projects for Badrinath in Uttarakhand were approved that includes construction of Plaza Promenade and Parikrama including new ghats, public amenities, EV track, signages, landscape, pavilions, toilets, drinking water facility, shopsat a total cost of Rs. 27.57 crore.

A project on “Capacity Building Programme for Leveraging of Community Resources and Appropriate Local Resources Based on Technology to Adopt Arth Ganga Model” by HESCO, Dehradun was also approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 5.20 crores. The objectives of the proposal include establishing Arth Ganga Training Centre at HESCO Gram to be used as a common platform for various Ganga based economic activities for the rural community, creation of Ganga Resource Centres across the Ganga Basin which would cover around 500 families and related resource based economic activities like fruit farm, mushroom cultivation, vegetable cultivation, rural energy, water recharge, home stays, etc. to enhance entrepreneurship among the people on the banks of River Ganga and identification of voluntary organizations with strong credibility and experience. Arth Ganga Centre would act as an institute equipped with all necessary knowledge and technology, its responsibility will be to make the linkage between GRC and other research institutes. It will also conduct sector-wise meetings with stakeholdersespecially panchayat, local media persons, Voluntary Organisations etc. A total of 1500 families would be directly trained and indirectly 20000 community members will be exposed to its benefits.

Wetland Conservation has been on priority under Namami Gange Programme. 23 out of 64 Ramsar Wetlands sites are in the Ganga Basin. A project titled ‘Conserving and Sustainably Managing Udhwa Lake Bird Sanctuary’ in Sahibganj District, Jharkhand was approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 50 lakhs under Namami Gange Mission-II. The project is aimed at providing a replicable and scalable template for integrating conservation and management of Udhwa lake bird sanctuary and conserve, restore and develop this important wetland. It envisages Integrated Management Plan for Udhwa lake bird sanctuary based on stakeholder consultation & baseline hydrological assessments. The interventions seek to conserve Udhwa lake, enhanced aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity and productivity, conservation of important birding area and sustainable floodplain for the better flow of ecosystem services of Ganga Riverscape.

Another project for installation of 5 new sluice gates along the Bank (Eastern & Western) of Beliaghata Circular Canal, refurbishment of 28 existing sluice gates etc. was approved for around Rs. 4.25 crore. This project is essential to stop the leakage of penstock gates and stop the drains to discharge the wastewater in the river in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The Executive Committee meeting NMCG was attended by Shri S.P. Vashishth, ED (Admin.), NMCG, Shri D.P. Mathuria, ED (Technical), NMCG, Shri Himansu Badoni, ED (Projects), NMCG, Shri Bhaskar Dasgupta, ED (Finance), NMCG and Ms. Richa Misra, JS&FA, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.



(Release ID: 1852907)
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