Says, will bring in equitable development of JK, spells out broad contours of package
JAMMU: Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Friday termed the package of Rs.80,000 crore announced by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, during his rally on November 7 at Srinagar as wholesome, adding it takes care of equitable development of all the three regions of the state.
He said the Prime Minister is totally focused on development of J&K and he has lived up to his promise of supporting its transformation as a model state.
The Chief Minister made these comments while addressing a press conference here this morning during which he spelt out broad contours of the package. He also answered a flurry of questions related to talks with Pakistan, rehabilitation of PoK refugees, connectivity and setting up of AIIMS and Smart Cities in the state.
The Chief Minister was flanked by Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb A Drabu, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Prof Amitabh Mattoo and Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma.
Addressing media-persons, Mufti Sayeed said he takes pride in the performance of his government which has been in power for a little over eight months only. He said the 14th FC Award has assured complete financial devolution and every state has got its share in Central funds. In nine months whatever funds the government has spent on connectivity, health, rural development and education sectors have been in our kitty, he added.
Thanking the people for their overwhelming response to the Prime Ministers rally last week, the Chief Minister said there is a level of satisfaction in what the State Government has done since March this year. He reiterated his commitment to provide good governance and strengthen the institutions so that the system becomes responsive to the needs of the people. We have done well on most indicators and now that the development package has been announced, we will move in fast-track to create durable assets, besides providing succor to flood victims and security and welfare to displaced persons, he said and added that his Governments endeavor would be to ensure that every penny is spent for peoples welfare.
Reaffirming his resolve to provide relief to every victim of the colossal floods of 2014, Mufti Sayeed said it will be for the first time when people will be provided monetary help for reconstruction of their damaged houses and for infrastructure as well as restoration of livelihood for traders and small-time businessmen. A comprehensive plan for protection of river Jhelum at a cost of Rs 1100 crore is part of the development package, besides Rs 2000 crore that will be spent on restoration of flood-damaged infrastructure, he stated.
The Chief Minister said for a fully-damaged pucca house, an amount of Rs 3.00 lakh will be provided while as Rs 1.5 lakh will be provided to those who have a fully-damaged kutcha house.
Similarly, a severely-damaged pucca house will be provided financial assistance of Rs 1.00 lakh while as a severely-damaged kutcha house will be given Rs 0.50 lakh, he added.
On the issue of improving road connectivity in the state, the Chief Minister described the package announced by Narendra Modi as a continuation of what former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did in his tenure as Prime Minister when he announced North-South and East-West corridors to connect National Highways. He thanked the Centre for prioritizing widening of road stretches from Udhampur to Chenani and from Chenani to Ramban, Ramban to Banihal and Banihal to Srinagar which will enable the people to complete Srinagar-Jammu journey in only four hours.
The Prime Minister, during his visit, had also laid foundation stone of widening of these two road stretches at a total cost of Rs 4306 crores.
The Chief Minister gave elaborate details of major projects under road infrastructure which will ease the distances and movement of people across the regions and sub-regions of the state. These include construction of Zojilla Tunnel at a cost of Rs 9000 crore, Kargil-Zanskar-Leh Road (Rs 4000 crore), two-laning of Srinagar-Shopian-Qazigund Road (Rs 1800 crore), four and two-laning of Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch Road (Rs 5100 crore), construction of tunnels at Lachulunga Pass and Tanglang Pass on Manali-Leh section (Rs 5000 crore), upgrading Srinagar-Uri-LoC Road, double-laning of Srinagar-Leh Road via Kargil and Uri-Kaman Post (LoC) at a cost of Rs 233 crore and Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Khilani Road with tunnel at a cost of Rs 2100 crore. He said construction of tunnels of Mughal Road and Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag road would be taken up in the State sector.
The Chief Minister also announced construction of semi-ring roads in Jammu and Srinagar cities at respective costs of Rs 1400 crore and Rs 1860 crore.
Under the development package, fund allocations have been kept for double-laning of Batote-Sinthan-Kishtwar-Anantnag Road at a cost of Rs 130 crore.
In health sector, the Chief Minister stated that two AIIMS will be constructed at a cost of Rs 2000 crore each while as Rs 900 crore will be spent on upgrading District and Sub-District Hospitals and PHCs.
Highlighting the huge potential of the state in new and renewable energy, Mufti Sayeed said two pilot projects of 20 MW each for Leh and Kargil will be started to harness solar power potential. He said this will just be a modest beginning since the state has a potential of generating 1 lakh MW solar power. Rs 100 crore has also been provided for solid off grid home systems and solar street lighting in the state, he added.
The Chief Minister also thanked the Centre for keeping an allocation of Rs 2350 crore for installation of small hydropower projects and Rs 3790 crore for augmentation of power infrastructure and distribution systems.
In order to fully tap the tourism potential of the state, the Chief Minister said the Centre has announced Rs 2000 crore package. This will be besides the Rs 100 crore which has been kept for restoration of flood-damaged tourism infrastructure.
To upgrade infrastructure in cities and towns, an extensive allocation has been made in Housing & Urban Development Sector, with Rs 744 crore to be spent under AMRUT, Rs 193 crore under Swach Bharat and Rs 500 crore Smart Cities. The states liability of Rs 163 crore under erstwhile JNNURM will also be released under the package, he revealed.
Describing the rehabilitation of West Pakistan and Chhamb refugees as a huge step, the Chief Minister said it has happened for the first time that Rs 2000 crore will be spent to ameliorate their sufferings He said the package will also takes care of Kashmiri migrants for whom 3000 jobs will be created, besides enhancing intake capacity at different transit accommodations set in Kashmir.
Replying to a question on West Pakistan refugees, Mufti Sayeed described this as a humanitarian issue and added that the government will look into their problems.
On the law-and-order front, the Chief Minister said Rs 500 crore have been earmarked for improving system ingredients and logistics. He also said that the Centre has enhanced stipend of SPOs from present Rs 3000 to Rs 6000, which will come as a huge relief to thousands of police personnel.
A separate allocation has also been kept for five IRP battalions for the state which will create job opportunities for 4000 youth in the state.
In the handicraft and textile sectors, the Chief Minister said the Centre has announced Rs 50 crore Pashmina promotion project in the state.
On a specific question asked on PDPs alliance with BJP, Mufti Sayeed said everybody is free to express views in his party. Dissent is the essence of democracy. Everybody has a right to express his/her views, he stated.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PMs RECONSTRUCTION PLAN
1. Assistance for flood damaged houses Rs 1200 cr
2. Assistance for traders Rs 800 cr
3. AIIMs Rs 4000 cr
4. District, Sub-District Hospitals, PHCs Rs 900 cr
5. IIM Rs 1000 cr
6. IIT Rs 1000 cr
7. Tourism Development Rs 2000 cr
8. High-tech Security systems Rs 500 cr
9. Ring Roads for Jammu, Srinagar Rs 3200 cr
10. Installation of Small Hydro Projects Rs 2000 cr
11. Raising of 5 IR Battalions Rs 300 cr
12. Increase in remuneration of SPOs Rs 450 cr
13. Smart Cities (Srinagar & Jammu) Rs 500 cr
14. Power Infrastructure augmentation Rs 3790 cr
15. Equity for Pakul Dul Rs 4153 cr
16. Counterpart funding for EAPs Rs 1278 cr
17. Projects under Bharat Mala Rs 2700 cr
18. Zojila Tunnel Rs 9090 cr
19. Converting WB loan into grant Rs 1350 cr
20. Horticulture Development Rs 500 cr
21. One time monetary compensation to
families from PoK and Chamb Rs 2000 cr
22. Srinagar-Banihal Road Rs 735 cr
23. Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch road Rs 5100 cr
24. Srinagar-Shopian-Qazigund road Rs 1800 cr
25. Kargil-Zanskar road Rs 4200 cr
PMs Choice not To Talk To Pak
Breaking his silence after Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not mention Pakistan in his speech which he delivered in Srinagar last weekend, CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Friday said that he was surprised.
PM Modi addressed a jam packed SK Stadium here in Srinagar on Nov 7.
Reconciliation with Pakistan is my governments agenda, and we cannot force it on union government, Mufti said in Jammu early today after he gave the break-up of the economic package announced by PM.
I dont know why PM skipped Pakistan issue from his speech, even in our personal chat I apprised him about peculiarity of Pakistan and its effects in Kashmir and also about Atal Bihari Vajpayees initiatives of offering friendships to neighbouring country, he said.
PM Modi talked about development and did not mention even Hurriyat. I dont need any advice on Kashmir, Modi told the rally on Saturday.
In the end, it is PMs own choice whether to touch any subject or not; Im not a dictator who will dictate all things to him, he said.
Muzaffar Baigh should be heard
Srinagar: Breaking his silence over senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baigh who has criticized the functioning of the government in his recent statements, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Friday said that Baigh was a respected senior leader who views should be heard.
Reacting to a question during press conference at Jammu, the chief minister who is alo PDP patron said that voices of dissent and difference in opinion do exist in every political party in a democratic set up. But that does not mean that there are differences within the party. Our party (PDP) allows everybody to express their views. So has Baigh sahab done. We should listen to him, he said.
However, the chief minister didnt mentioned the name of another estranged leader Tariq Hamid Karra who like Baigh has been very critical of government functioning and PDPs alliance with BJP.
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