Srinagar: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, Saturday carried out a tour of the summer capital during which she took stock of ongoing works on restoration and up-gradation of sports infrastructure, besides obtaining a firsthand appraisal on measures being taken to streamline vehicular traffic.
She visited the multi-facility sports centre at Rajbagh, Bakhshi Stadium and Indoor Stadium at Tulsi Bagh, Batmaloo and Qamarwari Crossing, besides L. D. Maternity Hospital.
Minister for Youth Services & Sports and Technical Education, Imran Raza Ansari, Minister of State for H&ME, H&UDD and Social Welfare, Asiea Naqash, Legislators, Noor Mohammad, Anjum Fazili and Khursheed Alam, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Navin K. Chaudhary, Divisional Commissioner, Asgar Hassan Samoon and Commissioner / Secretary, H&UDD, Hirdesh Kumar accompanied the Chief Minister.
Mehbooba Mufti first arrived at the Multi-Facility Sports Centre at Raj Bagh, where she took note of the progress on urgent repairs of structures that were damaged in the floods of 2014. She observed that given the snails pace at which the work is being executed, it will be very difficult for the State Sports Council to deliver the projects on time. Our youngsters have huge appetite for sports and unless we restore the necessary infrastructure which enables them to compete at higher levels, we wont be able to nurture their talent, she stated.
The Chief Minister observed that with money at their disposal, the executing agencies should not show any complacency in delivering the projects within the fixed timelines.
With work coming to a halt, the Chief Minister gave directions for immediate restoration of gymnasium, squash court and recreational area comprising the cafeteria and library within the next one month so that the facility becomes available to sports-persons. She also passed instructions for landscaping of the lawns, work on which she said should commence within the next seven days.
While briefing the Chief Minister, the Secretary Sports Council said Gindun is a state-of-the-art project conceived at a cost of Rs.46 crore. The facility envisages multiple sporting activities like lawn tennis, basketball, squash and soccer, besides recreational and add-on facilities for sports lovers.
Upon her arrival at the Indoor Stadium, the Chief Minister was informed that around 300 boys and girls play badminton and table tennis, besides participating in martial arts like judo, karate and wushu during morning and evening hours. On the directions of the former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the CRPF contingent camped on the front side of the Complex has been shifted out, while restoration work at a cost of Rs.17 crore has been taken up. Chief Minister went around the Complex and issued directions for illumination of the courts and premises which will allow sports activities to be extended into evening hours. She also directed Secretary Sports Council to identify a suitable space for cafe-cum-library so that players can take a time out.
At Bakshi Stadium, the Sports Minister informed the Chief Minister about the Rs.200 crore project to be funded by the Union Sports Ministry for up-gradaton of sports infrastructure in the state. This includes revamping of the two premier sports stadia at Jammu (MA Stadium) and Srinagar (Bakshi Stadium) at a cost of Rs.30 crore each. Global tenders have been floated and the work on the project is expected to start soon.
At Batmaloo, Mehbooba Mufti sought cooperation from shopkeepers and vendors to help in de-congesting the city centre. She also handed out an assurance to the vendors that Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) will identify land within the city centre for their relocation so that they are able to earn their livelihood with dignity. “We need to restore public spaces for smooth movement of vehicles, which will ease hardships faced by commuters and pedestrians,” she added.
Expressing concern over delay in completion of the second bridge near Qamarwari despite availability of funds, the Chief Minister said the people residing in the area has to face huge traffic jams, this putting them to several hardships. She fixed a deadline of March 31, 2017 for R&B to complete the work. She also directed I&FC Department to expedite beautification of Jhelum Riverfront at Chattabal Wier, which can become an attractive sightseeing spot for tourist who would prefer a river cruise in the old city.
On the last leg of her tour, the Chief Minister visited L. D. Hospital where she interacted with patients and attendants, most of whom expressed satisfaction with the delivery of service. Given the huge rush of patients from peripheral areas, the Chief Minister was apprised about the need for another Labour Room to offset the load on existing one at the Valleys premier maternity hospital.
Also present on the occasion were IGP Kashmir Zone, SJM Gillani, DC Srinagar, Farooq Ahmed Lone, VC SDA, Tehseen Mustafa, DG Youth Servfices & Sports, Jahangir Mir, Commissioner SMC, Bashir Ahmad Khan and Secretary, Sports Council, Javed Ahmad Shah, besides senior officers of R&B, I&FC and YS&S Departments.
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