Mufti anguished over illegal structures sprouting up

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Master Plan violations: Issues instructions for removal of all encroachments, structures

SRINAGAR: Asserting that lapses in implementation of projects will not be tolerated and officers be made accountable, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday instructed formulation of a high-level Committee, headed by Chief Secretary B. R. Sharma, to speed up progress on existing as well as upcoming projects currently underway in Srinagar and Jammu.

Mufti desired framing of a comprehensive Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Policy so that infrastructure projects are taken up and completed in a time-bound manner. This would, according to him, tide over the acute shortage of affordable housing colonies in the two capital cities which are rapidly bursting at their seams.

He was speaking at a high-level meeting to review the status of housing and commercial projects being implemented by Srinagar Development Authority (SDA). 

Noting with serious concern the lack of pace on developing affordable housing colonies for the economically weaker sections of the society, Mufti Sayeed called upon the Chief Secretary to immediately clear hurdles in setting up of Shehjar Apartments by SDA nearBemina, whose foundation stone was laid way back on February 24, 2013 by the then Chief Minister. “Shehjar Vertical Housing Colony is a prestigious project which has to be put back on rails so that flatted accommodation comprising 532 residential flats is fast-tracked,” he added.     

Mufti said: “Successful projects are not run on an autopilot but closely monitored till they are completed and commissioned in a time-bound manner.”

“The state is grappling with a huge problem on housing shortage for middle and low-income groups because of the lackadaisical approach of the previous government,” Mufti said. “The problem has reached ominous proportions.”

“In most of our urban centres, there are 2-3 families sharing a single room,” he said. “We cannot afford to allow the situation to drift away till it gets out of control.”

Expressing disappointment over no headway having been made in development of a Satellite Township at Rakh-e-Gund Asksha, for which 4500 kanals of state land have been transferred to SDA way back in 2000, the Chief Minister tasked the Chief Secretary to immediately remove bottlenecks, so that work on the project is taken in hand. 

Placing high priority on revision of Srinagar Master Plan, Mufti Sayeed said planned development cannot take place unless the land use is defined. 

He directed the Chief Secretary to provide adequate manpower to the Town Planning Organization so that the revised Master Plan for Srinagar City is approved and ratified by the Cabinet before December 31 this year.

He directed the Chief Town Planner to prepare a plan to expand city precincts to lay edifice of a stylish city with multiple satellite townships. 

He expressed concern that a large number of commercial and residential structures have come up in violation of approved master plans across the state. 

On the issue of decongesting the summer capital city from heavy vehicular traffic on its south and north corridors, Mufti Sayeed issued instructions for removal of all encroachments and illegal structures at Regional Bus Stand, Panthachowk, so that prime land comprising 352 kanals can be commercially-developed with all modern facilities. He said he will personally visit the site identified for Bus Terminal at Shalteng, which will go a long way in streamlining vehicular traffic from Baramulla and Kupwara districts. “The north and south corridors are gateways to summer capital and these need to be handled with proper care,” he stressed.

He directed Vice Chairman, SDA, Salma Hamid, to revive the proposal for setting up of a satellite commercial complex at Nowgam. H

Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, who also holds the charge of H&UDD, and Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, were also present on the occasion.

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