Districts basic units of good governance: Mufti

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Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said that the present Coalition Government is committed to strengthen the core infrastructure like roads and power across the State so that the people feel a semblance of change emerging on the ground.

He said this while undertaking marathon tours of Doda and Kathua districts today during which he took on-the-spot assessment of various ongoing projects in Doda, Ghat, Basohli and Kathua.

Mufti Sayeed acceded to the request of the Deputy Commissioner for release of Rs. 10 lakh for up-gradation of approach road to the Mini Secretariat and Rs. five lakh for purchase of furniture.

The construction of Rs.10 crore Office-cum-Mini Secretariat Complex was taken up under the State Task Force Scheme. The Complex will have 40 officers’ rooms and a Conference 

Hall with a capacity of 200 persons.

Later, the Chief Minister also inspected the present status of the Ganpat Bridge and fixed deadline of March 31, 2016 for its completion. The construction of the bridge, which will provide alternate connectivity to Doda City over River Chenab, had been started way back in 2006. The revised cost of the 263 M Span-Balanced Bridge is Rs. 35.71 crore and it was sanctioned under Rehabilitation Plan of Baghlihar Hydroelectric Project, keeping in view the realignment of National Highway 1-B and submergence of main National Highway at Pul Doda.

While interacting with media-persons, the Chief Minister said the development of Chenab Valley region is one of the flagged priorities of the Government. He announced release of Rs.12 crore for repair and renovation of Batote-Doda Road, which is in a critical condition due to sinking and washing away of road stretches at many spots. “As a long term measure, the Chenani-Sudh Mahadev-Khelani road link will be taken up for providing alternate connectivity to the Chenab Valley,” he stated.       

Mufti  also inspected the proposed site at Ghat, near Doda, for construction of already-sanctioned Medical College. The Deputy Commissioner informed the Chief Minister that the process for acquisition of 160 kanals of proprietary land has been started.

The Chief Minister directed DC Doda to expedite the acquisition proceedings so that the work on the construction of the college is started at an earliest.

MLA Doda, Shakti Parihar, MLA Bhaderwah, Dalip Parihar, MLC, Firdous Tak and SSP Doda Zahid Manhas were also present on the occasion.

On reaching Palahi, in Basohli constituency of Kathua district, Mufti Sayeed took a firsthand view of the tourism-potential of Ranjit Sagar Dam. Impressed by the majestic expanse of the Dam, the Chief Minister said the area will be developed as the Gateway of J&K’s Leisure Tourism. “Ranjit Sagar Dam has tremendous potential to come up as a leisure-cum-adventure and water-sports hub that will become a major tourist attraction for people from all over the country, especially the neighbouring states,” he added.   

The Chief Minister also called for dovetailing the famous Basohli Paintings and Arts with its tourism potential so that footfall of heritage lovers gains visibility in the scenic spot.

The Deputy Chief Minister, in his address, said the Government is committed to promote Jammu as an independent tourist destination. He said the Government will highlight several locations in Jammu with tourism potential so that the number of tourists is increased this season.

Later, Mufti Sayeed viewed a concept presentation on ‘Tourist Hub’ in Basohli.

On developing Basohli as major tourist attraction, he called upon the Tourism Department and the concept designers to immediately frame a strategy that brings to fore its huge potential.

The Chief Minister also asked the Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, to come up with a proposal for up-gradation of Government Higher Secondary School, Basohli, as a model school.

On his arrival at Kathua, President of Chenab Textile Mills, K. C. Sharma, made a presentation about their future expansion plans and sought the support of the administration for acquisition of additional chunk of land.

The Chief Minister desired that the expansion programme should lay special emphasis on employment generation, mainly of the local youth. He also undertook a tour of the new yarn unit set by the Chenab Textile Mills.

Expressing his gratitude to the Central Government for sanctioning 1210-metre pre-stressed Double-Lane Keerian-Gandial Bridge over river Ravi in Kathua district at a cost of Rs.158 crore, Mufti Sayeed said it will provide succour to the people of two hamlets of Keerian and Gandial, who have to travel 45 km to reach the district headquarters..

The Chief Minister directed the Public Works Department to immediately start the work on the Bridge so that it is completed within the stipulated timeline of three years.    

The State Government had taken up with the Union Road Transport Ministry the construction of the Bridge, which has now been sanctioned under Inter-State Connectivity scheme of CRF (Central Road Fund).  

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