Mehbooba mimics father in administrative matters


Jammu: Chairing her first major review meeting after assuming charge of the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti Monday hinted at reorienting the Planning & Development Department so that it is able to professionally handle preparation of quality DPRs (Detailed Project Reports), absence of which she said was real bane of project delays.

She vouched for a mechanism where ‘empanelled consultants’ remove technical bottlenecks and fast-track DPR preparation which will enable the executing agencies to deliver projects on time. “If fund crunch was the problem in the past, nowadays it is the struggle over efficiently executing development projects and achieving desired results that hold us back,” she stated.     

The Chief Minister made these observations in a high-level meeting called to assess the progress achieved on the commitments made by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on several development projects when he was the Chief Minister of the state.

The Chief Minister, who also holds the charge of the Planning & Development Department, reviewed R&B, PHE, I&FC, PDD, I&C, Tourism, Health, Education and the I&C Departments.

The meeting began with the Chief Minister asking the officers to show no laxity in completion of projects where time impacts are inevitable, because of the uniqueness of each project. She said the real efficiency lies in delivering public infrastructure within the stipulated timelines. “The officers are custodians of development and therein lay the huge expectations of the people on the development front,” the Chief Minister said while exuding confidence that the officers will put their best foot forward.

In the all-important R&B sector, Commissioner/Secretary, Rohit Kansal, briefed Mehbooba Mufti about the present status of 12 major commitments of the Chief Minister which include construction of Lakhanpur-Thein Road up to Ranjit Sagar Dam, emergency repairs of Batote-Kishtwar Road, Circular Roads in Pulwama and Anantnag districts, maintenance of Mughal Road, macadamization of cities and towns, construction of Pulwama-Lassipora Road and completion of work on Pantha Chowk-Zewan Crossing.

It was given out that the work on the first three kilometres out of the 19-km-long Lakhanpur-Thein Road up to Ranjit Sagar Dam, in Basohli, has been started under CRF and the project will be completed within the next three years. Efforts are also on to get the road declared as National Highway.

The Chief Minister was informed that the macadamization of Mehndikadal-Ashajipora Circular Road will be taken up shortly for which Rs.5.00 crore have been released to the R&B Department so far. For macadamization of roads in cities and towns, funds will be sought under TAMIER.

It was brought into the notice of the Chief Minister that all structures coming under realignment of Pantha Chowk–Zewan Crossing have been removed and work on the widened portion is under progress.  

The Chief Minister stressed upon completion of all ongoing projects within the set timelines.

Kansal also updated the Chief Minister on the progress achieved on the 42 projects shortlisted in PHE, I&FC Departments. The Chief Minister had on Saturday reviewed in detail the present status of dredging works on river Jhelum for which a Kolkata-based firm has been allotted the contract.

Some of the works presently under execution include beautification of Jhelum embankments in Srinagar, Bijbehara and Sopore, development of Dara Shikov Garden near Bijbehera, Reclamation of Aglar Mandi in Shopian and filtered drinking water to migrant colony at Vessu, Kulgam.

While taking review of the works in the Power Development Department, the Chief Minister issued directions for ensuring regular electricity supply in the winter capital during upcoming summer season.

Principal Secretary Power, Dheeraj Gupta, brought into the notice of the Chief Minister the measures taken for removal of bottlenecks in procurement of essential items as per standardized procurement procedure. He said with Central Government approving a list of vendors, the Power Department will now be able to maintain an inventory of key material supplies.

“As the Centre has also effected changes in specification of transformers, the new transformers will prove much cheaper and energy efficient in the long run,” he said, while assuring the Chief Minister of switching over to new specifications within the next six months.

The Power Secretary informed the meeting that power supply to Jama Masjid Srinagar will be augmented by installation of 250 KV DG sets and the work will be completed within the next two months at a cost of Rs.1.00 crore.

To ensure uninterrupted power supply to the picturesque Pahalgam resort, 11 KV and 33 KV lines are being laid which will be completed by the end of July at a cost of Rs.3.00 crore. He said tenders worth Rs.129.20 crore have also been floated for underground cabling at four tourist destinations including Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Patnitop.

The department has also started the process for creation of transformer bank at Rajouri and Poonch districts for which Rs.1.00 crore have been released. The other works which are presently under execution include establishment of receiving station at Sultanpora, Shranz in Baramulla, dedicated power supply to IT Park at Rangreth, BGSBU in Rajouri, Ghani Stadium in Srinagar and Civil Hospital at Pahalgam.    

On the issue of uninterrupted power supply to Uri, Mehbooba Mufti was informed by the Power Secretary that once the 50 MVA Transformer is installed in the grid station by October this year, the power supply to the border town will considerably improve.

The Chief Minister took a detailed review on the forward movement achieved on cross-LoC Trade and Travel at two crossing points of Salamabad in Baramulla and Chakan da Bagh in Poonch, which she said were described by late Mufti Saab as the ‘show-window’ for travellers from across the LoC.

Commissioner/Secretary, I&C, Shailendra Kumar, highlighted the progress achieved in broadening the scope of cross-LoC trade. He said a fresh list of additional items to be included in the already approved list of 21 items has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs which will be taken up for approval in the next meeting of the Joint Working Group between India and Pakistan.

On the smooth navigation from present barter system of trade to banking system for cross-LoC trade, Kumar said RBI has agreed to discuss the issue with Pakistan in the meeting of the joint working group. He said for smooth movement of trucks in and out of the terminals at Chakan da Bagh and Salamabad, tenders have been floated for procurement of full body scanners and the same shall be installed over the next 18 months.

On being asked about the new features in the recently-announced State Industrial Policy, the Chief Minister was apprised that issues related to change of constitution, maintenance of industrial estates, e-trade in famed Handicraft products; self-attestation and delegation of financial powers to subordinate officers have been taken care of in a pragmatic way. He said premium for land in industrial estates has been enhanced for the first time since 2004-05, which will enable SIDCO and SICOP to take care of common facilities like roads, effluent treatment plants, and other support required within the estates from time-to-time.

A detailed presentation was also made about the progress achieved in construction of convention facility and establishment of mega leather cluster at IE Lassipora and facelifting of Kashmir Haat at Srinagar.   

In the Tourism sector, the Chief Minister obtained first-hand appraisal on developing Mantalai, in Udhampur district, as an International Yoga Centre and bringing several areas like Abdullian and Chamlyal within the ambit of border tourism, on pattern of Suchetgarh. She also stressed upon outsourcing high-end assets like Pahalgam Club, which will generate revenue that can be ploughed back in developing the highly-remunerative travel industry in the state.

On being enquired about the present status of the prestigious Jammu Ropeway Project, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Sandeep Nayak, informed the Chief Minister that on the instructions of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the hybrid system has been ordered to be replaced by imported system which matches international benchmarks. Fresh tenders have been floated and the work on the project will commence thereafter, he added.

On laying of new ropeways at tourist and pilgrim destinations like Mantalai and Shiv Khori the Chief Minister was informed that these are currently under the active consideration of the department and subject to clearance from Forest Advisory Board.

In order to position Gulmarg as valley’s premier travel destination, the Tourism Secretary said the heritage masterpiece Maharaja Palace, helipad, waiting terminal in Gandola premises and a new restaurant are ready for inauguration. A revised plan of Rs. 198.65 crore for up-gradation of roads leading to tourist destinations has also been formulated, the meeting was told.

The other works presently being executed include construction of an ice-skating rink at Pahalgam, framing of DPR for laying of golf course at Sonamarg, repair and renovation of Abhinav Theatre and Tagore Hall, construction of Bait ul Zareen at Shahdara Sharief, Rajouri, installation of STP and incinerators at Gulmarg for solid waste management and development of Ranjit Sagar Dam as a tourist destination.

While reviewing the performance of the Education sector, the Chief Minister issued instructions for removing impediments in making IIT Jammu functional as early as possible. She was informed that land for permanent IIT campus has been identified at Jagti and Rs.1.58 crore have been released to make transit campus functional. Similarly, for IIM Jammu, three sites have been proposed and a final decision will be taken by Site Selection Committee of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). Since forest land is involved for setting up the campuses, concurrence of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is a prerequisite, the Chief Minister was informed.

Mehbooba Mufti was also briefed about the new initiatives taken to reform both the school and the higher education sectors. Specific mention was made of the Model School Scheme started by late Chief Minister, creation of Teachers’ Welfare Fund and introduction of vocational courses at college and school levels in four identified trades including IT, tourism and handicraft sectors.

Commissioner/Secretary School Education informed the Chief Minister that 144 schools have been identified in the state for upgradation as Model Schools where students will be taught with the help of modern e-learning tools.

In the health sector, Secretary H&ME, M. K. Bhandari briefed the Chief Minister about the present status of setting up new medical colleges at Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri, Kathua and Doda. She was also informed about establishing new nursing colleges in existing old hospital buildings in 10 districts at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore each. These districts include Baramulla, Sopore, Anantnag, Srinagar and Budgam in Kashmir valley and Kathua, Udhampur, Poonch, Basohli and Jammu in Jammu division.       

For Model Health Centres and SDH Basohli and Dooru, Mehbooba Mufti directed the Health Secretary to provide manpower and equipment so that patients are provided best possible treatment.

While reviewing H&UD sector, the Chief Minister directed the department to fast-track work on Shopping Complexes at Chare-e-Sharief, Anantnag, multi-tier parking at Panjtirthi and community halls at Bijbehara.  

Earlier, Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development, B. B. Vyas informed the Chief Minister about cataloguing the commitments of the Chief Minister on the basis of availability of funds and removal of bottlenecks. He also gave a detailed presentation on the status of several commitments of the Chief Minister which fall within the purview of district sector. 


DA enhanced by 6%

The Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti approved the release of Dearness Allowance installment @ 6% of pay, raising the total Dearness Allowance of the State Government employees from 113% to 119%, with effect from 1st July, 2015.

The arrears on account of additional installment from July, 2015 to 31st March, 2016 shall be credited to the individual GPF accounts of Government employees and shall form part of the monthly salary from there onwards.

In respect of those State Government employees who continue to draw their pay and allowance in the pre-revised pay scales as per the 5th CPC, the release of Dearness Allowance installment shall be @ 11% of pay, raising the total Dearness Allowance from 223% to 234% with effect from 1st July, 2015.

The arrears on account of additional installment from July, 2015 to 31st March, 2016 shall be credited to the individual GPF accounts of such Government employees and shall form part of the monthly salary from there onwards.

In respect of such of the State Government employees, who are governed by the New Pension Scheme, the arrears on account of additional installment from July 2015 to 31st March, 2016 shall be paid in cash in month of April 2016 and the employees’ share @ 10% shall be deducted at source and credited to their PRAN numbers along with the matching share by the employer. Thereafter, the enhancement in the DA by 6% shall form part of the monthly salary.

Enhancement in DA will also apply to the work charged/whole time contingent paid employees, working in a regular time scale.

This increase will apply, mutatis-mutandis, in the case of All India Service Officers, serving in connection with the affairs of the State.

The Cabinet also approved release of the Dearness Allowance installment @ 6%, raising the total Dearness Allowance of the State Government pensioners/ family pensioners from 113% to 119%, with effect from 1st July, 2015. The arrears on account of the enhanced rate of Dearness Allowance from July, 2015 to 31ST March, 2016, shall be paid to them in cash in the month of April, 2016 and shall form part of the monthly pension/family pension there onwards.

The Cabinet approved the revision in Temporary Move Allowance (TMA) from existing rate of Rs 1500 per month to Rs 2000 per month, with effect from, 1st April 2016.

The Cabinet also sanctioned the enhancement of Move TA from existing rate of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per employee per move, effective, from annual move of Durbar from Jammu to Srinagar in April 2016.(GNS)


Cabinet urges Vohra to summon legislature 

The Cabinet which met here yesterday under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti decided to request the Governor to summon and address the joint session of the State Legislature on Wednesday, 25th May 2016 at 11 am at Srinagar in terms of section 53 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. 


Additional pension approved

To mitigate financial difficulties faced by Old Pensioners/Family Pensioners, the Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti sanctioned additional Pension for their welfare.

Additional Pension will be extended to the old Pensioners/family Pensioners on attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 years and shall be payable from the 1st of the month in which the pensioner attains the prescribed age. This additional Pension shall be paid after the pensioner completes the age of 80 years, 85 Years etc. Dearness relief shall also be payable on the additional Pension.

The additional quantum of pension in relation of the basic Pension is as follows:

Age of Pensioner

Additional quantum of Pension

From 80 Years to less than 85 Years

20% of basic Pension

From 85 Years to less than 90 Years

30% of basic Pension

From 90 Years to less than 95 Years

40% of basic Pension

From 95 Years to less than 100 Years

50% of basic Pension

100 Years or more

100% of basic Pension


4 more women police stations created

To ensure that women affected by violence have an enabling Police system empathetic towards their grievances, the Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti accorded sanction to the creation of four Women Police Stations, one each in district Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri and Udhampur.

The Cabinet also sanctioned creation of 208 posts for these four Women Police Stations i.e 52 posts for each Women Police Station. The 208 posts include four posts of Inspector, four posts of Sub-Inspector, 8 posts of Assistant Sub-Inspector, 24 posts of Head Constable, 136 posts of Constable and 32 posts of Follower.

The creation of these Women Police Stations shall enable women to report offenses and bring visibility of women at the level of public interface especially in situations where aggrieved women intend to seek redress in an empathetic environment with an institutional support. It shall also be a step towards achieving gender equality.

Presently, two Women Police Stations are functional one each at Srinagar and Jammu exclusively run by women police officers/staff. Besides four Women Cells are functioning, one each at district Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri and Udhampur on internal arrangement basis. (GNS)


New postings in CM’s secretariat ordered

Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday ordered new postings in the Chief Minister’s secretariat.

The transfers and postings were ordered with immediate effect,” said an official spokesperson.

He said that Hashmat Ali Khan, KAS, Special Secretary to the Government, Hospitality and Protocol Department, is transferred and posted as Special Secretary/Private Secretary to the Chief Minister.

Masrat-ul-Islam, KAS, Additional Secretary to the Government, Information Department, is transferred and posted as Additional Secretary (Press & Publicity) in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

Bashir Ahmad Lone, KAS, awaiting orders of adjustment, is posted as Additional Secretary to the Government, General Administration Department.

Haris Ahmad Handoo, KAS, Additional Secretary to the Government, General Administration Department, is transferred and posted as Additional Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.


Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.



Observer News Service

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.