Mehbooba moots ‘Capital City Plans’ for Srinagar, Jammu

In a major announcement aimed at bringing about rapid growth of the two capital cities, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, today mooted separate ‘Development Plans’ for Srinagar and Jammu districts, keeping in view the requirement for additional funds to create durable assets and ensure effective social sector spending. She described Srinagar as Valley’s heart and assured time-bound development of the summer capital, which received a major setback in the colossal floods of 2014. “There is a need to shift to Capital City Plans as funding under District Plans has largely been incommensurate with the rapidly-expanding boundaries of Srinagar and Jammu cities,” she observed.
After deliberating for nearly six hours, the DDB headed by the Chief Minister, approved an Annual CAPEX Budget of Rs.100.29 crore for the year 2016-17. In her maiden address as Chairman of DDB Srinagar, the Chief Minister said the summer capital will continue to receive focused attention vis-à-vis proper sewerage and drainage network, restoration of encroached public spaces to de-congest city centre, improving connectivity by way of upgradation of roads, fortifying embankments and dredging of river Jhelum so that the destruction inflicted by 2014 floods is not repeated. She further said that she is carrying forward the roadmap which her father had sketched for development of Srinagar city.
Referring to the rising population of capital cities and the corresponding requirement of better amenities, the Chief Minister said de-linking Srinagar and Jammu from District Plan funding pattern will go a long way in addressing the concerns of the people. She directed the Finance Minister to devise a mechanism for conceiving separate Development Plans by taking into consideration the specific needs and demands of both the capital cities. During the board meeting, Legislators, cutting across party lines, had unanimously raised the issue of much-lower CAPEX Budget allocation for a big district like Srinagar, as compared to most of the other districts in the state who have a far greater allocation.
Calling for complete synergy between various departments involved in infrastructure building and implementation of various welfare schemes, Mehbooba Mufti said she has ordered strict adherence to timelines for completion of all ongoing projects so that its benefits accrue to the people.
She referred to her several review meetings and tours during the last one month during which she took firsthand appraisal of various projects and expenditure booked under centrally-Sponsored Schemes (CSSs). “A number of prestigious projects in R&B, Tourism, Health, Education, PHE and I&FC sectors have been taken up which will help in restoration of basic services to the people,” she said.
The Chief Minister also directed DC Srinagar to fast-track all land acquisition cases so that bottlenecks in widening of roads in the city are removed.
She also suggested shifting of some government buildings to city outskirts, thereby allowing the government to create much-needed space for creation of public utility infrastructure.
While obtaining status of Achan Landfill site at Srinagar, H&UDD Secretary informed the Chief Minister that a mechanical segregator has been ordered and will be installed within the next two months.”Meanwhile, J&K ERA is working on a third cell at the site to address the issue of garbage disposal from the city,” he added.

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