Jammu/Kathua, Oct 16 (PTI) Vowing to turn the corner on developmental front in Jammu, J&K Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said the projects, which had been on "sleep mode", are now being taken up for execution.
In a veiled warning to the panels set up for overlooking developmental projects in J&K, Mufti asked the administration to "re-consider their continuance" if they are not performing well.
He said core sectors of development like connectivity and infrastructure building will primarily determine how fast we can propel our state towards economic prosperity.
"The government will take up projects only after ensuring availability of funds," he said in a no-holds barred manner.
The Chief Minister made these comments while addressing huge gatherings of people after launching two mega projects which include Rs 201.68 crore modernisation of general bus stand multi-level car parking-cum-commercial complex at Jammu and double-lanning of Lakhanpur-Thein Road up to Ranjit Sagar Dam at a cost of Rs 43.49 crore, today.
He was flanked by the Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh.
Describing infrastructure and reliable road connectivity as vital cogs-in-the-wheel of development, the CM pitched for proper utilisation of funds under State Plan and the centrally-sponsored schemes.
Referring to his meeting with RBI Governor in the summer capital recently, Sayeed indicated broadening the scope of cooperative network by making essentialities like oil and pulses also available to the public on affordable prices.
"In my meeting with the RBI Governor and NABARD chairman, I have also pitched for capital infusion for revival of our four ailing District Cooperative Banks so that cooperative financing benefits the poorer sections of the society," he said and added that multitude of people in the state are still living in abject poverty.
Lauding Centre's support for providing adequate funds for road and rail connectivity in the state, Sayeed assured the people of maintaining the quality of roads.
He said once the double-lanning of the road up to Ranjit Sagar Dam is completed, it will provide access to one of the most beautiful resorts of Jammu region.
"We are thankful to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for funding projects under Central schemes. We will ensure good quality roads for which we have fixed a Defect Liability Period that binds the contractors to maintain the roads for at least three years," he said and also referred to the huge strides made by the state in rail connectivity, especially linking areas as far and wide as those from Banihal in Jammu to Baramulla in Kashmir division.Sayeed exuded confidence that Jammu bus stand
modernisation project will be completed within the stipulated timeline of two years. "I am personally monitoring projects to ensure their execution in a time-bound manner," he stated.
The six-floored structure will go a long way in provide much-needed relief from heavy vehicular traffic by accommodating 1,300 cars and providing access corridor to 80 buses and a taxi stand.
Describing Jammu-Srinagar National Highway as the lifeline between the two capital cities, Sayeed lamented the unreliability of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway since 1947. He said with the intervention of the Central government, the vital stretches of the road have been drastically improved.
He said the government has engaged a top firm for preparing a concept plan and a detailed project report to herald Ranjit Sagar Dam as a major tourist destination.
"Till such time the plan is prepared, I have asked the Tourism Department to develop the place as a beautiful resort that can attract tourists, especially from neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh," he said and added that a School of Skill Development will also be established for promoting the famed Basohli Art.
On Shahpur Kandi Canal, the Chief Minister said the government will examine the revival of the project and address the concerns of the neighbouring Punjab government so that we are able to harness the agricultural potential of large tracts of uncultivable land through a regular water supply for irrigation purposes.
Reiterating his resolve to hold elections to local self-government institutions, Sayeed said he is committed to transfer power to the grassroots level.
"The panchayats and civic body polls will be held in April next year, which will enable to make these institutions autonomous and self-sustaining," he added.
He stated that the government will also examine the issue of one-time settlement of the PoK refugees.
Describing Jammu as Dar-ul-Aman, which gave shelter to people from all regions during turmoil, Nirmal Singh said the people have voted for the first time for a truly representative government in the state.
He said people under PDP-BJP government will witness a new phase of good governance and fair and transparent administration.
He hailed the vision of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to fast-track the development works in Jammu region. "Right from day one, the government is planning to promote Jammu as an independent tourist destination and fast-track execution of infrastructure projects," he stated.
On rolling out Jammu bus stand modernisation plan, the Deputy Chief Minister said no meeting of JDA Board of Directors had been held for the past three years.
"After we took over, we followed all codal formalities before approving the contract for the project in our BoDs meeting held on September 19 this year, after which a Letter of Intent was issued to the executing firm," he said, adding that funds have been earmarked for execution of the project, which is slated to be completed within the next two years.
"If the committees that have been formed to overlook developmental projects are not functioning properly, then you should reconsider their continuance," he said while speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the multi-tier parking lot here this morning.
"However, I have been told by the Deputy Chief Minister that this project will now be completed in next two years.
It's a good thing to give it a time-frame", he said, adding that the parking space would accommodate more than 1,300 vehicles.
On the flyover construction issue being raised by Jammu Poonch MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, Sayeed said that the work would be started after the second instalment of the Asian Development Bank would come.
He said that he will plead with the Prime Minister that the two smart cities, one in Srinagar and one for Jammu must be sanctioned as there were several places of international fame in both these places.
The Chief Minister also batted for developing border tourism in Jammu region on the patterns of Wagah Border in Punjab.
"We have Suchetgarh which can be developed on the patterns of Wagah Border. The same way we have done it in Uri Kaman post and Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch. Suchetgarh can be developed as a destination point with all facilities", he said.
He also called for setting up of two Information Technology Parks in the state.
"I have requested them to set up call centers in Jammu as well as in Kashmir. I was sitting with some influential people who have a say in the Government of India, I asked them to give us two IT Parks in Srinagar and Jammu", he said.
Sayeed added that the Public Private Partnership should be promoted in the state that would help generate finances for various projects in the state.
After a question was raised in the assembly about development of Sanasar and Surinsar which were close to Jammu as compared to Patnitop and Bhaderwah, Sayeed said his government was working to develop these two places.