To address the issue of space crunch at Jammu Airport, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Wednesday said the government is committed to acquire additional land for expansion, which will pave way for its upgradation on the pattern of Srinagar Airport. He said the issue was discussed threadbare during Civil Military Liaison meeting held recently in which it was decided that the Army and the Civil Administration will exchange land which will enable the execution of work on expansion of the Jammu Airport. The Chief Minister said this while speaking during supplementaries in the Legislative Council during Question Hour today. Elaborating further, Mufti Sayeed said Jammu Airport is choked due to space constraint for which it needs immediate expansion to ensure safety and comfort of the passengers. He said it has been his concern since 2002 and he will take up the matter with the Defence Minister so that the issue is settled is expeditiously. On the issue of casual appointments in government departments, the Chief Minister assured the House that the present government, ever since it took over reins of power, has not appointed even a single person on ad hoc basis. “Immediately after taking over, the government has strengthened the institutions by appointing persons with integrity in PSC and SSB so that vacancies are filled up on a fast-track basis,” he stated. Identifying unemployment as a real challenge for the government, Mufti Sayeed said all recruitments will be speeded up and made in a fair, transparent and time-bound manner. He said the recruitment of educated unemployed youth is an ongoing process, which is bound to take some time, adding that there will be no delay in recruitment processes. On a question related to creation of tourist-related facilities at Surinsar-Mansar, Chief Minister said the government has formulated a plan to promote Jammu as an independent tourist destination for all seasons. He referred to Jammu, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Patnitop, Poonch,Rajouri, Baghliar and Ranjit Sagar Dams as places that can be developed as full-fledged holiday destinations. The Chief Minister assured the Council that Surinsar-Mansar will be promoted in a big way as the tourist spot is at a stone’s throw away from Jammu city. “I agree that the full potential of Surinsar-Mansar has not been tapped. We will take steps to create facilities for children and elders alike so that it attracts a good footfall of tourists,” he added. Highlighting the potential of Jammu as an ideal heritage destination, Mufti Sayeed said tourism in Jammu will also receive a fillip once the 9-hole Sidhra Golf course will be upgraded to 18-hole and commissioned later this year.
2015 Kashmir Despatch