Rs 225 cr approved for Batote–Kishtwar–Simthan Pass–Anantnag road

Chief Minister reviews key development projects of Chenab Valley

Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti on Monday reviewed key development projects taken up across various sectors in the three Chenab Valley districts of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban.

The Chief Minister emphasized on timely completion of the projects under various sectors including road communication, Power, R&B, PHE, Agriculture and Health among others.  “The Chenab valley area has very peculiar problems, which need to be addressed in a focused manner, in order to bridge the existing infrastructural gaps, keeping in mind the topography and difficult terrain,” she said and gave specific directions to the concerned Administrative Secretaries with regard to various developmental programmes and projects.

Also present in the meeting were Minister of State for Transport, Revenue, Public Works, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Agriculture Production and YSS, Mr Sunil Kumar Sharma, MLA Doda, Mr Shakti Raj, MLA Bhaderwah, Mr Daleep Singh, MLA Ramban, Mr Neelam Kumar Langeh and MLC, Firdous Ahmad Tak.

To augment the power sector in the region, the Chief Minister asked the concerned Administrative Secretary to expedite the transmission and distribution works under various schemes and programmes.

The Chief Minister was informed that under transmission besides others, work is in progress for augmentation of Khellani Grid from 40 to 70 MVA at an estimated cost of Rs 6.42 cr and it shall be commissioned by October 2016 and survey for re-conductoring of Udhampur- Kishtwar 132 KV Line [60 MW, 40 Km] is going on, which shall take around 3 months and will enhance the capacity from 60 to 100 MW.

It was further informed that with regard to distribution, an outlay of investment under the flagship schemes like RAPDRP, IPDS, RGGY-II, DDUGJY and PMDP is to the tune of Rs 119.35 cr, 81.28 cr and 127.50cr for Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts respectively. The Chief Minister gave directions to ensure buffer stock of transformers in the region to avoid any inconvenience to the people especially during the ensuing winter months.

The Chief Minister also stressed the need for improving and upgrading the road connectivity in the Chenab Valley region. She issued instructions for expediting work on important roads under NABARD and CRF. She said the Ganpath bridge has been completed and efforts should be made to accelerate work for timely completion of other bridges also.

The Chief Minister was informed that for maintenance of 265km Batote–Kishtwar–Simthan Pass–Anantnag road, an amount of Rs 95.30 Cr has been approved via NHIDCL and Rs 130 Cr has been approved for balance work of two-lane.

To improve connectivity in the area, R&B Department was asked to prioritize PMGSY roads which have been left incomplete. The Chief Minister was informed that record allocation of Rs 554 crore for Phase-10 has been approved under which 74 projects have been sanctioned and progress of ongoing works has been accelerated, while as 42 works are being targeted for completion this year.

Ms Mehbooba laid stress on development of tourist infrastructure in the region to attract tourists. She asked the Tourism Department to develop world class tourism infrastructure in the area so that tourists visiting other areas of the state can also visit Chenab Valley region. She urged development of various tourist circuits in the region viz Bhaderwah-Bhallessa-Jai tourist circuit. She stressed on initiation of projects wherein locals could be involved so as to enhance their employability. She said the Tourism Department needs to create infrastructure for camping sites at various untapped locations like Tatta Paani in Marwah area of Kishtwar and explore trekking routes in areas like Padder.

With regard to health sector in the region, the Chief Minister was informed that the final award and consequent mutation of the land for the medical college at Doda in favor of Health & Medical Education Department is under process. It was further informed that work on District Hospital Doda constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 32.23 Cr is almost complete, while as, Rs 3.69 Cr have already been expended on the construction of Accidental Hospital at Khellani, Doda, similarly various health projects in Ramban and Kishtwar are also under execution, which are different stages of completion.

To address the deficiency of healthcare staff in the region, the Chief Minister asked the concerned to ensure that the recruitment process is expedited.

Under Agriculture sector, the Chief Minister gave specific instructions for focused attention to areas like Asar which are known for vegetable produce. She said avenues of developing a small vegetable mandi should be explored in the area and also sought details with respect to progress achieved under Saffron Mission in the Chenab Valley region.

Ms Mehbooba asked the concerned to ensure smooth supply of ration in the region with adequate stock before winter months especially in Marwa, Dachan, and Wadwan areas.

The Chief Minister also reviewed developmental works under Education, PHE, RDD, YSS and Horticulture sectors in the area.

Chief Secretary, B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner Planning and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B B Vyas and other concerned Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments and other senior officers also attended the meeting. Deputy Commissioners of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar participated in the meeting via video conferencing.