The Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti Mondaytook a comprehensive review of key developmental projects in the Pir Panchal districts of Rajouri and Poonch at a high level meeting convened, here this morning. She called for a proactive approach to expedite implementation of infrastructural and developmental projects in the region.
While taking sector and scheme-wise review of the developmental programmes and projects under implementation in the twin districts, the Chief Minister gave specific directions to the concerned Administrative Secretaries with regard to these and directed the concerned executing agencies to speed up the work on all such key projects so that these are completed within the set time-frame.
Also present in the meeting were Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali, Deputy Chairman Legislative Council, Mr Jahangir Hussain Mir, MLA Nowshera, Mr Ravinder Raina, MLA Rajouri, Mr Qamar Hussain, MLA Surankote, Choudhary Mohammad Akram, MLA Mendhar, Mr Javed Ahmad Rana, MLA Poonch Haveli, Shah Mohammad Tantray and MLCs, Dr Shehnaz Ganai, Mr Surinder Kumar Choudhary and Mr Vibodh Gupta.
Referring to the huge potential of Rajouri and Poonch districts in heritage, adventure and border tourism, the Chief Minister directed the Tourism Department to focus on creation of tourism based infrastructure that help in attracting tourists to the area and are also important from tourism promotion point of view viz development of forts etc.
The Chief Minister noted that tourism infrastructure needs to be developed keeping in mind its relevance to the area and also its linkage to creation of livelihood opportunities for locals in the area. She underscored the importance of development of wayside facilities along the Mughal Road, highlighting its direct relevance to the development of tourism in the Pir Panchal region.
While reviewing the key projects under the tourism sector, the Chief Minister was informed that various projects have been proposed under PMDP including development of tourist facilities viz cafeteria, pathway, landscaping, tourist benches, etc at Loran and cafeteria, approach road, landscaping, pathways, parking, tourist benches and lighting at Jalian in Poonch. Similarly, tourism projects in Rajouri include development of tourist facilities at hot spring – Tata Pani, Rajouri Development Authority Midway Complex and tourist facilities around Rajouri Qila Dantitop.
It was further informed that tourist facilities are also being developed at Noori Chamb and Peer ki Gali. While as trekking routes with base camp facilities for tourists shall be developed with regard to development of seven lakes as a tourist destination in the Pir Panchal region. Regarding status of work on TRC Mendhar, the Chief Minister was informed that it is in the advanced stage of completion.
The Chief Minister also stressed the need for improving and upgrading the road connectivity in the Pir Panchal region. She issued instructions for expediting work on important roads including Budhal-Shopian road. Ms Mehbooba also called upon Border Roads Organization (BRO) to improve the critical stretches on the Mughal Road and various other roads that are maintained by the organization.
Regarding declaration of Mughal Road as National Highway and construction of tunnel on it, the meeting was informed that the matter is being vigorously pursued with Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
It was given out in the meeting that 246 km Jammu-Akhnoor–Poonch road has been declared as new National Highway by GoI and Jammu to Akhnoor (35 kms) has been entrusted to National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) and will be upgraded to 4 lane. Various projects under PMGSY, CRF and construction of major bridges in the region were also reviewed in the meeting. It was also informed that black-topping of around 250 kms has already been done in the two districts.
Construction of sports complexes in Rajouri and Poonch districts were also reviewed during the meeting with directions of the Chief Minister to expedite the work so that the facilities could be availed by the people at the earliest.
With regard to health sector in the region, the Chief Minister sought details regarding status of upcoming Medical College at Rajouri and issues related to healthcare facilities in the region viz District Hospitals. The Chief Minister was apprised regarding major health projects in the region viz up-gradation of SDH Nowshera to 100 bedded Hospital, Casualty Block at DH Poonch, etc.
The Chief Minister also asked the Health Secretary to prioritize providing Critical Care Ambulances in the border areas of the State. To address the deficiency of healthcare staff in the region, the Chief Minister asked the concerned to ensure that the gaps are addressed at the earliest.
Regarding Tribal Welfare, the Chief Minister was informed that Gujjar Bakerwal Girl Hostels are being developed at Rajouri and Poonch, besides Eklavya Model Residential School shall also be established in the region.
She was further informed that development of Model villages one each in Poonch and Rajouri has also been taken up. To provide skills to the tribal youth in various job-oriented fields, skill development initiative with job placement facilities shall also be taken up. Shelters for migratory tribals at specific sites along traditional routes shall also be developed.
The Chief Minister also reviewed developmental works under Education, Power, PHE and Horticulture sectors in the area.
Earlier, the legislators from the region flagged certain important developmental projects in the region including, restoration of 132 KVA transmission line, construction of Grid Station of 400 KVA on Jallandhar-Samba- Baramulla transmission line, completion of Rajal-Gravity Feeder in Nowshera, enhancement of capacity of grid station from 20MVA to 50 MVA at Thudi in Rajouri, etc.
Financial Commissioner Planning and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr B B Vyas, concerned Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments and other senior officers also attended the meeting. Deputy Commissioner’s of Rajouri, and Poonch participated in the meeting via video conferencing.