Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has stressed on the need to give focussed attention to the development of capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.
Chairing the District Development Board meeting of Jammu district here today, the Chief Minister said with this objective in mind she has decided to delink the development process in these major cities from the district administrations by formulating a Capital City Plan for both the cities. This, she said, would ensure that the developmental framework in these two cities does not remain static and the progress of works gets a renewed push.
Mehbooba Mufti said that Jammu and Srinagar, besides being the capital cities, have to bear the load of a considerable floating population in addition to the ever increasing demands of civic amenities and these components have to be factored in the planning process.
Asking the executing agencies to strictly follow the project completion deadlines, Mehbooba Mufti hoped that projects under execution would be completed within the scheduled deadline time frame to let the benefits percolate down to people at the earliest.
The Chief Minister directed creation of a buffer of water pumps and lift motors in view of the coming summers and irrigation season in the district. She advised the legislators to encourage local youth in forming Self Help Groups which can join the project executions of the Government. This, she said, would not only involve the local community in the developmental process but also provide means of livelihood to many of unemployed youth.
The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to take up with NHAI the issues of providing more road furniture and emergency response equipment like ambulances on the newly constructed Jammu-Udhampur National highway patch and rehabilitation of vendors of Nandni who were dislocated due to road widening. She also directed ensuring availability of Urdu knowing teachers in the schools where ever needed besides undertaking a safety audit of all the school buildings.
Mehbooba Mufti directed pacing up of work on the Mubarak Mandi heritage project terming as an important tourist and cultural asset of the State. She expressed concern over the slow pace of work on the project and directed start of landscaping at the project site immediately. She directed operationalization of the nearby parking slot so that vehicles don’t come inside the heritage complex. She also directed conservation and face lifting of Raghunath Mandir and adjoining areas which forms a major attraction for tourists.
The Chief Minister, who also holds the charge of Planning & Development Department, announced release of Rs. 22 crore as additionality for meeting the liabilities of the current fiscal in the district. She also announced release of Rs. One crore for pacing up work on the Tawi beautification project and Rs. One crore for various developmental works in R. S. Pura area. She also released Rs. 50 lakh to each of the constituency in the district for undertaking civic works immediately.
Addressing the meeting, the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh said the present Government has made it compulsory for the executing agencies to stick to the project completion deadlines and as a result many of the long pending projects have been put on track.
The Deputy Chief Minister described Mubarak Mandi heritage project as an important milestone in preserving the tradition and culture of the Jammu city.
In his address, Minister for Finance, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu described the adoption of Capital City Plan for Jammu and Srinagar cities as a systemic change in planning rather than the incremental one. He said with this the developmental process of these cities would get a renewed push. He added that as a next step the allocations for rest of the districts would be done by an experts group based on area specific requirements and needs.
Later, the board approved an outlay of Rs. 690 crore for Jammu under Capital City Plan and Rs. 212 cr under District sector Plan.
Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Baghat; Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Shyam Choudhary; Minister of State for Tourism& Culture, Priya Sethi; vice chairmen of various boards besides legislators Sat Sharma, Choudhary Sukhnandan, Devinder Singh Rana, Rajesh Gupta, Dr. Gagan Bhagat, Kamal Arora, Rajeev Sharma, Devinder Manyal, Dr. Krishan Lal, Ashok Khajuria, Ramesh Arora, Charanjeet Singh Khalsa and Master Noor Hussain were present in the meeting.
Also present in the meeting were Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma; Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Administrative Secretaries of several Departments, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal, heads of various Departments and officers of Jammu district administration.