Seeking support from people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in making J&K an abode of peace, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, today described the state as a show-window of plurality and inclusiveness in the country.
She said state’s strength lies in mutual coexistence for which the people will have to overcome cultural, religious and regional barriers to emerge as one strong entity. “J&K has gone through very difficult times. We now have to take forward the agenda of Mufti Saab and script a new chapter of peace and amity in the state,” she said, while describing restoration of peace as the biggest challenges in J&K.
The Chief Minister was speaking after laying foundation stone of semi-automatic multi-level car parking facility at Super Bazaar, here today.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal K. Singh, Minister of State for H&UDD, H&ME and Social Welfare, Asiea Naqash, Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Education, Priya Sethi and MLA Jammu East, Rajesh Gupta, were present on the occasion.
Addressing a large gathering, the Chief Minister said the present government reflects the aspirations of people who want to see a new era of development unfold in the state. For this, she said she needs support of people in building infrastructure linked to road connectivity, health, education and jobs. “I need peace so that I am able to repeat what Mufti Mohammad Sayeed did with great success when he was the Chief Minister of the state between 2002-2005,” she added.
The Chief Minister said she saw herself dwarfed in comparison to her father, who worked passionately for bringing equitable development in all the three regions of the state. She said whatever new infrastructure is coming up is an outcome of 10 months of sustained perseverance during his final tenure.
Linking development in J&K with sustained peace, the Chief Minister said opening of Suchetgarh and Baba Chamliyal routes will promote border tourism across the LoC in Jammu. “With banking facilities replacing barter trade, LoC commerce will get further fillip,” she added.
Asking people to take real ownership of their cultural assets, Mehbooba Mufti said with smarter and out-of-box planning, Jammu can emerge as a blend of heritage and modernity. She asked people to partner government’s efforts in creating more green spaces to add to city’s grandeur.
Referring to her meeting with RBI Governor today, Dr. Raghuram Rajan, the Chief Minister said she has sought his help in conservation of the historic Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex. She said if the complex is restored to its past glory, it has the potential to singlehandedly launch Jammu as a major culture destination. “I am happy that Dr. Rajan went to Mubarak Mandi after he met me and we look forward to his support and cooperation in restoration of the complex,” she said, adding she also discussed investment by industrial bigwigs which will create ample opportunities of employment for our youth.
Fixing responsibility of ERA, the executing agency, to complete the car parking by March next year, the Chief Minister said laying of foundation stones should not be reduced to mere ceremonial exercises. “I will monitor the pace of work personally and see that the projects are completed within the stipulated timelines,” she stressed.
Taking a rewind to her college days at Jammu, Mehbooba Mufti said she became nostalgic by coming to the old city today where she used to travel many a times from Raghunath Bazaar, Purani Mandi up to Kachi Chawni.
In his address, Dr. Singh credited late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for giving a new direction to infrastructure development in the state. He said the government will continue to work in mission mode to give practical shape to his dreams.
To be constructed at a cost of Rs.50.31 crore, the multi-level car parking facility will accommodate 352 vehicles and 164 two-wheelers in eight modules and is expected to be completed within the next 12 months.
The parking facility will greatly ease traffic congestion on busy sections near Kanak Mandi, Old Hospital Road and Raghunath Bazaar. This is the second big multi-tier parking project which has been launched in the winter capital after Jammu Bus Stand multi-tier car parking.
Also present on the occasion were DC Jammu, Simrandeep Singh and CEO ERA, Vinod Sharma.