Bukhari reviews progress on CM’s decisions on Srinagar dev projects

Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari chaired a high-level meeting

On the instructions of Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Wednesday, chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress made on the decisions of the Chief Minister during his earlier visits of Srinagar.

Minister for IT, YS&S and Technical Education, Imran Raza Ansari, Minister of State for Health & Social Welfare, Aiesa Naqash, Chief Secretary B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon and IGP, Kashmir Zone, SJM Gillani, attended the meeting.

The meeting began with a briefing by Vice Chairman (VC), Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), Tahseen Mustafa, about the various projects under execution and the ones in the pipeline.

It was given out in the meeting that the Revised Master Plan for Srinagar City will be formulated by the end of March, next year.  The Chief Town Planner (CTP), Iftikhar Hakim, was asked to continue the consultative process with the all connected stakeholders before the Master Plan is finalized by March-end. Once finalized, the Master Plan has to be put in public domain for inviting objections, if any.

As Srinagar is grappling with acute shortage of parking spaces, the VC SDA gave a brief overview of developing proper parking lots at Old SMG (State Motor Garages) office near Press Colony and Sheikh Bagh to create additional capacity for accommodating around 1000 vehicles. It was felt that there is a need to create multi-tier parking facilities, for which SDA should even explore the possibilities of executing the projects in PPP mode. For now, VC SDA was instructed to create surface parking on the land available at Old SMG and Sheikh Bagh spaces.    

On setting up affordable housing colonies and satellite townships at Rakh-e-Gund Aksha, the chair instructed the VC SDA to expedite the implementation of the decision already taken by the Chief Minister as this cannot brook further delay under any circumstances.

During review of SDA on September 08, the Chief Minister had observed that land development and public housing are the two of the most important roles assigned to the Development Authorities. He had issued directions for removing the bottlenecks so that the project is taken up for execution.

Around 4500 kanals of land have been transferred to SDA by Rakhs & Farms for development of a satellite township at Rakh-e-Gund Akshar.

VC SDA was also directed to speed up construction of Shahjar Apartments at Bemina, which envisages construction of 542 flats in vertical structures.

Regarding the issue of making Sangarmal Complex a viable commercial hub, it was given out that the allottees in the complex have not yet cleared the liability of Rs.13.65 crore on account of premium. It was observed that with the additional land becoming available to SDA after its transfer from Estates Department, the complex will also have an approach from the main Maulana Azad Road. The proposed multiplex, laced with facilities of banquet hall, additional parking and food courts, would be a premium on this complex and it is expected that it would trigger huge business activity within the complex.

It was observed that with government spending huge resources by creating additional facilities in the complex, it would be only fair to ask the allottees to liquidate the liability on account of premium.

On development of land near TRC at Nowgam, the Chief Engineer, I&FC, Kashmir, Javed Jaffar, was instructed to convey NoC for the transfer of this land to SDA.

Following the Cabinet decision on realignment of houseboats at Doldemb, for which Rs.29.50 crorehave been earmarked, VC LAWDA (Lakes & Waterways Development Authority), Sarmad Hafeez, informed that 80 per cent of land and structures at Doldemb have been acquired.

The realignment of houseboats at Doldemb will facilitate common sewage disposal, potable drinking water facility and, more importantly, the cleanliness of the fabled water body.

LAWDA has already forwarded a proposal to the Administrative Department for procuring two more water harvesters for de-weeding and cleansing of the Dal Lake. 

While reviewing progress on development of Rakh-e-Arth Township at Bemina for Dal dwellers, VC LAWDA was advised to prepare a DPR for construction of flatted accommodation in PPP mode.

LAWDA is building a satellite township for rehabilitation of Dal dwellers at Rakh-e-Arth on an area of 7526 kanals at a cost of Rs.416 crore.

Commissioner, SMC, Showkat Zargar, informed the meeting that for conservation of Brari Numbal Lagoon, SMC has floated a national-level tender for engagement of consultant. He informed that tenders were floated at the request of J&K Bank, which will fund the project under CSR.

VC LAWDA also informed the meeting that a DPR for Brari Numbal under NLCP (National Lake Conservation Programme) has also been formulated and sent to H&UDD for approval and funding.

On Achan Landfill site, the Chief Secretary stressed upon segregation at source, which will facilitate scientific disposal of the solid waste. Commissioner SMC informed the meeting that three pilot projects for segregation of waste have been started in some parts of Srinagar.

Altaf Bukhari directed Chief Engineer, Power, Bashir Khan, to ensure availability of power during the Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi  celebrations so that people are not put to any inconvenience. He was also directed to check power theft by gearing up its enforcement machinery, for which assistance of police to make the enforcement drive productive can also be sought.     

Also present in the meeting were Secretary to the Chief Minister, M. H. Malik, Director Floriculture, Kashmir, Talat Pervez, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah and Chief Engineer, R&B, Satish Razdan.