Govt committed to compensate flood victims: Mufti

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Board Meetings Held At Anantnag, Kulgam ; ‘Spending under Capital Expenditure Plans will test ability of officers, engineers’

ANANTNAG – Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today assured that well before the onset of winter, all those who have suffered damages to their houses in the colossal floods of 2014 will be adequately compensated.

“The Central Team is soon visiting the State to take stock of the post-flood situation, but I assure that the State Government is committed to adequately compensate those people who lost their homes in last year’s floods,” he asserted.

The Chief Minister gave these assurances while chairing the District Development Board (DDB) meetings of Anantnag and Kulgam, here today.

Besides Minister for RDD, Abdul Haq Khan and Minister for Revenue, Javed Mustafa Mir, who are the Chairmen of District Development Boards of Anantnag and Kulgam respectively, Minister for Horticulture, Haj & Auqaf, A. R. Veeri, Minister for Finance & Culture, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Minister of State for PHE, I&FC, Animal Husbandry and Forest, Abdul Majeed Padder, MPs, Mehbooba Mufti and Nazir Ahmad Laway, Legislators, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Mohammad Amin Bhat,  Syed Farooq Andrabi, Gulzar Ahmad Wani, Abdul Rahim Rather, Altaf Ahmad Wani, Abdul Majeed Bhat, Dr. Bashir Ahmad Shah and Mohammad Yousuf Sofi, also attended the meetings.     

While Rs.186.15 crore Annual Plan for Anantnag district, a big leap from Rs. 68 crore allocated under capital head last year, has been approved, for District Kulgam, a Capital Plan outlay of Rs. 126.44 crore has been okayed.

Addressing the legislators and officers in the Board meetings, the Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, stated that the move from Plan expenditure to developmental spending will test our ability to create productive assets and avail benefits of social sector schemes, which for long have remained our Achilles Heel.  

He said previously the Credit Plans were never monitored resulting in creation of huge liabilities and unfinished projects as well as failure of the departments to utilize the inbuilt subsidy component of Centrally-sponsored schemes’ kitty of Rs. 6,000 crore allocated to J&K State.

For making DDB meetings effective, Mufti Sayeed called upon the Chairmen of all District Boards to ensure implementation of decisions so that its benefits percolate to the people on ground. “Decentralization of expenditure will ensure greater efficiency and monitoring of developmental projects and capacity building of our youth under various Central Schemes,” he added.

While taking firsthand appraisals of R&B, I&FC, PDD, Health and Education sectors, Mufti Sayeed directed Chief Engineer, PDD, to ensure that uninterrupted power is provided to the people, especially during sehri (starting of fast) and iftaar (breaking of fast) during the holy month of Ramadhan. 

Placing high priority on the education sector, the Chief Minister emphasized upon the Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Khursheed Andrabi, the need to make the South Campus fully functional by introducing market-driven courses so that aspiring students have access to jobs in the ever-expanding private sector.

Responding to the concerns of the legislators, in particular towards scourge of rising unemployment, Mufti Sayeed said the State’s new Recruitment Policy will help fast-track selection processes and fill up vacancies by augmenting SSB, which will go along way in addressing the issue of shortage of manpower, in particular health and education sectors.

On the issue of alleged discrepancies in assessment and payment of relief to flood victims, the Chief Minister directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to enquire into the matter.

Minister for Finance, in his address, explained the benefits of the revised financing scheme that focuses on completing ongoing works, clearing liabilities and guaranteeing state-share for funding under the Centrally-Sponsored Schemes.

Expressing concern over poor implementation of Board decisions, Mehbooba Mufti, in her remarks, called upon fixing accountability wherever required, in under-utilization of Centrally-sponsored schemes. “It is unfortunate that we have been unable to book expenditure under so many schemes in the past,” she said, referring to the huge strides made by other states due to their pro-active approach in implementing the Central schemes.

To avoid referrals, she also mooted pooling of MPLAD and CDF for upgrading at least two health institutions in all the constituencies of the State. She also suggested rewarding those districts with additional funds which fully expend the money allocated under Capital Expenditure Plans. 

The Chairmen of DDBs, in their remarks, hailed the new concept of financing, describing it as a significant step in strengthening the institutions at district-level.

Also present in the meeting were Principal Secretary, Planning, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon, Commissioner / Secretary, R&B, Rohit Kansal, Commissioner / Secretary, School Education, Shaleen Kabra, Commissioner / Secretary, Health & Medical Education, M. K. Bhandari, Secretary, PHE, I&FC, Pervez Malik, besides Divisional Heads, Deputy Commissioners of Anantnag and Kulgam and Sectoral Officers of the two districts.     

 Important decisions – Anantnag / Kulgam

1. Chairmen DDBs to monitor Capital Expenditure Plans

2. Two Model Health Centres to be taken up in each constituency

3. Explore insurance of people in Hepatitis C affected areas 

4. New Forest Policy on anvil

5. Rs.96 lakh for making Tengbal PHE Scheme functional in Kulgam

6. Rs. 60 lakh for Laroo Bypass in Kulgam

7. Science Block of Degree College Kulgam to be completed within one month; Common Room for girl students to be established at Degree College Kulgam

8. Up-gradation and macadamization of Anantnag-Kapran and Sallar-Yennar Roads; exploring possibility of road from Brah to Seer, via Rakh-e-Brah, Shangus  

9. Bely Bridge / Diversion at Rein-Tchogund in Dooru

10. Concept Plan for Maternity Hospital at Dooru

11. Blacklisting of contractors who fail to execute developmental projects

12. Increasing intake capacity for tourists at Verinag Resort; Tourist Complex at Levdoora, Qazigund to be made operational within 20 days   

13. I&FC to explore construction of road over Brangi Canal, Kokernag

14. Timber for flood affected to be provided on a fast-track basis

15. Development of Park at Kathsoo, Pahalgam  

16. Solid Waste Management to be flagged

17. Staffing issues of hospitals at Anantnag and Kulgam to be resolved by fast-track basis.

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