CM talks tough; sets deadlines for projects, services in Jammu region

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Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today asked the administration to reach out to the people and focus on development and good governance. She also called for judicious use of the existing manpower and their capacity building to ensure better delivery of services.

“Our focus has to be on expediting development, ensuring good governance and providing a corruption-free administration,” the Chief Minister said while chairing a high-level meeting convened here this afternoon to review the progress of development projects in Jammu region.

In the 4-hour marathon meeting, the Chief Minister gave a detailed insight into the governance initiatives and good practices which can bring a positive change at the grassroots level.   She made it clear that her priority is the people and not politics or power. “As long as I am here I would spend every day in mitigating the sufferings of the people,” she said and added that she would like her officers to become partners in this enterprise of hope so that the people get to feel the change.

Chief Minister said she was not satisfied with the present pace of delivery as there is still huge gap in decision-taking and implementation on the ground. “All of us shall have to put our act together and make the things move at the desired pace on the development front,” she said and added that adequate resources are available both through the state plan and through Prime Minister’s Development Programme for development.

“Only thing is to spend this money effectively and within the set time-frame,” she said and added that in this endeavour she would need the support of the officers at the cutting-edge level. Mehbooba said people have lot of expectations from the present Government and it is the responsibility of the government functionaries to come upto their expectations.

“The Ministers shouldn’t confine themselves to their constituencies or a particular region, but reach out to the people in every nook and corner of the State to mitigate the sufferings of the people,” she said adding; “Similarly, I would like my officers at various levels to reach out to the people and redress their grievances and problems effectively.”

Mehbooba instructed the officials to resolve the issues of public concern within the set time-frame. “Take timely action on issues of public importance, even by exercising suo-moto powers, if required with humanitarian approach,” she said and added that the decisions taken in the District Development Board meetings have to be implemented at a faster pace.

Asking officers to adopt systematic approach in solving public issues and ensuring speedy redress of their grievances, Mehbooba said the people are her eyes and ears, “and they acquaint me about the ground level realities on daily basis.”

She asked the government officials to work with focused attention on the programmes related to women, youth and disadvantageous sections of the society. “The officers should work fearlessly with proactive and pro-people approach so that people feel the change,” she said adding; “If the officers face any problems, they can freely interact with me, if they feel that there are long pending issues they can come to me and get those issues sorted out.”

Asking officers to lead from the front in reaching out to the people in mitigating their problems, the Chief Minister said the institution of District Administration and Block Administration will be strengthened and made effective to ensure that the fruits of development and welfare schemes reach the beneficiaries at the grassroots level. She also called for establishing an effective grievance redress mechanism at the district level.

“We will also ensure that the Public Services Guarantee Act is further strengthened to address the concerns of people,” she said and added the Government will institute awards to be given to the districts for the best practices adopted by them on public services. She said Tatkal service would be started under PSGA to ensure speedy delivery of the public service.

The Chief Minister called for making judicious and effective use of professionally qualified human resource as also the capacity building of the existing staff to make best use of their capabilities and professional training.

Stressing the need for infusing new life in the institutions at the cutting edge level, the Chief Minister said while at the district level DDC would be empowered in effect to coordinate execution of developmental programmes in the concerned district, at the divisional level, the institution of the Divisional Commissioner will be reoriented as a coordinating office to ensure speedy execution of developmental schemes.

“The face of the government at the grassroot level are not administrative secretaries, but DDCs who are in constant touch with the masses,” she said and added that the institution of DDCs has to be fully revived and empowered. Chief Minister reviewed the progress the flagship institutional projects including AII Jammu, five new Nursing Colleges coming up at Kishtwar, Udhampur, Poonch, Kathua and Jammu. She also reviewed the progress of other health institutions coming up in the State including Trauma Hospitals, District Hospitals, Model Hospitals and Paramedical Training Institutions.

Chief Minister was informed that the new medical colleges coming up at Rajouri, Anantnag and Baramulla are targeted for completion by 2018. Chief Minister asked the Health Department to firm up an implementable action plan for spending Rs 900 crore available under the Prime Minister’s Development Programme in next 4 years.

In the Education sector, the Chief Minister reviewed the progress of IIT, IIM, IIMC and Degree Colleges coming up at various places in Jammu region. The Chief Minister also reviewed the progress of new Polytechnics coming up at Udhampur, Doda, Reasi, Kishtwar, Poonch, Kathua and Samba.

In Tourism sector, the Chief Minister called for identifying two villages in each district to be developed as new niche tourist spots. She also called for using local festivals as a tool to promote tourism. She also reviewed the progress of ropeway projects in Jammu as also the progress of work on various tourist circuits in the region. She called for creating local economic stakes in the development of tourism.

The Chief Minister said that all the new Government buildings should go vertical instead of spreading horizontally and consuming land resources. She said all the new office complexes should essentially have provision of garbage disposal, rain water harvesting and solar energy.

The Chief Minister took a detailed review of the power and water supply position. She asked the concerned Departments to ensure adequate availability of electricity and drinking water in view of the hot weather conditions in the region. She said transformer capacity at Khillani Grid station and transmission line will be augmented to improve power supply position in Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban area. She also reviewed the progress of work on Surinsar, Katra and Naigad, Kishtwar water supply schemes.

Reviewing the progress of R&B sector, the Chief Minister said Rs 95 crore have been sanctioned by the Government of India for upgradation of Batote-Kishtwar road. The meeting was informed that 623 road projects have been taken up for execution under PMGSY in Jammu region, besides work is also in progress on upgradation of Satwari-Kunjwani road. A major bridge spanning 2 k is coming up at a cost of Rs 200 crore in Akhnoor under CRF.

Emphasizing upon strict implementation of the rule of law, Mehbooba called for retrieving public spaces from encroachers and pedestrian pathways to allow better management of traffic. She also suggested additional manpower in traffic wing of police for smooth movement of vehicles. “Traffic management has emerged as a real challenge and drastic steps are required to get rid of the menace of frequent traffic breakdowns,” she added.

The Chief Minister highlighted the need to inculcate traffic discipline, in particular related to roadside parking, use of helmets for both driver and pillion, wearing of seat-belts and barring use of cell phones while driving. She also called for better management of street vendors so that they earn their livelihood without creating traffic hassles and problem in movement of general public. She also reviewed the progress of work on multi-level parking lots in Jammu.

On the law and order front the Chief Minister called for taking legal action against the miscreants irrespective of their religious or political affiliations. “The law enforcing agencies have to be extra-cautious in dealing with the situation in Jammu region which has a mixed population,” she said.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the progress of various projects in horticulture sector and tribal affairs department. Regarding Skill Development Mission, the Chief Minister observed the things were not moving at the desired pace. She asked the Deputy Commissioners to devise area-specific skill modules for their respective areas to make the initiative more productive.

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