JK to seek Centre’s intervention to settle water dispute with Punjab

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New allocation system ensures decentralization: Mufti

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir government will seek Centre’s intervention to settle the water sharing dispute with the neighbouring Punjab, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said today.

A meeting of Committee on Estimates of JK Legislative Assembly has recently observed that Shahpur Kandi Dam in Punjab is not giving due share to the state as per the agreement with state government.

Speaking over the issue of Shahpur Kandi Canal, Sayeed said,”I will seek intervention of the Centre so that the matter is amicably resolved with the Punjab Government as the project is significant for irrigating huge tracts of agricultural land in Kathua district.” 

Mufti was chairing District Development Board Meeting of Kathua and Samba district.

Describing Kathua and Samba as the gateway and industrial hub of the state respectively, the chief minister asked the administration to take full advantage of the revised financing scheme which focuses on decentralisation and assigns greater role and responsibility to the districts.

Union Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and JK Finance minister Haseeb A Drabu were among those present at the meeting.

While Rs.162.18 crore capital allocation for Kathua district has been approved, for District Samba, a capital plan allocation of Rs.86.62 crore was okayed during the Board meetings.

Describing spending as a huge challenge under the new framework for developmental spending, the Chief Minister flagged education, health, tourism and agriculture as the prime focus areas of the Government.

Calling for proper leveraging of funds allocated to the districts, Mufti Sayeed observed that officers shall be responsible for capital spending so that liabilities on account of unfinished works and completion of ongoing projects is ensured, which will pave way for taking up of new projects.

The Chief Minister issued directions for immediate up-gradation of all roads in Kathua and Samba, in particular Kathua-Basohli Road to improve access to Ranjit Sagar Dam, which the Government is promoting as an independent water-sports destination.

In order to hold contractors accountable for executing road projects, the Chief Minister said the Government will make it binding upon them to maintain roads for three years.          

Referring to the dearth of specialist doctors and nurses in the health sector, Mufti Sayeed said the new Recruitment Policy, which is on the anvil, will ensure appointment of qualified medical and paramedical staff in the district and state cadres.

Laying emphasis upon sourcing funds under Government-sponsored schemes, the Chief Minister highlighted the potential of Kathua in agriculture and horticulture sectors. “Mango village will be set up and Market Intervention Scheme introduced to improve the quality of crop,” he added.

Earlier, Minister for Finance, gave a brief overview of the new process of funding that will cover panchayat projects, district development works, State’s own programmes, Centrally-Sponsored Schemes, externally-aided projects and rehabilitation programmes.

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