Assuring people of a new era in economic prosperity, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Wednesday said he will not rest till the people reap the real benefits of change, which he said will come only by strengthening the core sectors of development. He said people are the ultimate beneficiaries of good governance. “The funds allocated will be judiciously utilized in a time-bound manner to bring about equitable development across the state,” he asserted. The Chief Minister made these observations today while undertaking an extensive tour of Bijbehara and Anantnag during which he assessed pace of ongoing developmental works. During his previous tours, the Chief Minister had given instructions for fast-tracking the execution of works on various projects. Besides Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti, Minister for Horticulture, Haj & Auqaf, A. R. Veeri, Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, MP, Nazir Ahmad Laway, Legislators, Farooq Andrabi, Abdul Rahim Rather, Dr. Bashir Ahmad Veeri and Altaf Kaloo, VC J&K Wakf Board, Peer Mohammad Hussain, former MLAs, Rafi Mir and Sartaj Madni, PDP South Coordinator, Mufti Sajad and PDP Chief Spokesperson Dr. Mehboob Beg accompanied the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister visited Dara Shikoh Garden, Jhelum riverbanks, Wazir & Rani Bagh, Reshmaloo Sahib, Kabba Marg, site for Shopping Arcade / Wayside Amenities and the under-construction Municipal Shopping Complex at Anantnag. Instructing the officers to strictly adhere to the timelines, the Chief Minister emphasised upon the need to avoid cost overruns which usually occur because of delays in executing the projects. Earlier, on his arrival in Bijbehara, the Chief Minister took a briefing on the status of proposed sports stadium at the Degree College. Envisaged to be constructed at a cost of Rs.12 crore with added paraphernalia of hostel and pavilion blocks and sporting arenas, the Chief Minister directed Secretary Sports Council to only take up the work on construction of the stadium in Phase 1 at a cost of Rs.4 crore. The Union Sports Ministry has recently announced Rs.200 crore for development of sports infrastructure in the state. Mufti Sayeed also ordered release of Rs.19 lakh for sprucing up Degree College Ground enabling the students to participate in sports activities. The Chief Minister also visited Degree College, Anantnag, where he inspected the auditorium block, which is nearing completion. The Principal gave a brief presentation on the market-driven courses run for the students and the extra-curricular activities for their overall personality development. The Chief Minister fixed a deadline of October 25 for inauguration of the auditorium of the college, which was inundated in the worst-ever floods of 2014. Describing roads as critical infrastructure, Mufti Sayeed inspected the pace of work on 2.1 km Mehendikadal-Ashajipora Bypass Road, for which funds have already been sanctioned. Chief Engineer, R&B, informed the Chief Minister that consolidation work is presently on and the project will be completed within the scheduled timeline of December 31 this year. Once complete, the Mehendikadal-Ashajipora Bypass will provide alternate connectivity, which will help decongest traffic in Anantnag town. During his visit to Ranibagh Garden, the Chief Minister asked the H&K Bank to landscape and spruce up the lawns so that the garden attracts a large number of visitors. On his last visit, Mufti Sayeed had passed directions to explore the possibility of connecting Ranibagh with Sher Bagh, which are contiguous to each other, so as to make this resort more attractive. At Wazir Park and Dara Shikoh Garden, in Bijbehera, the Chief Minister was briefed about the ongoing landscaping works being executed through J&K Bank. He also asked the Chief Engineer, I&FC to beautify the Jhelum riverbanks in proximity of both the parks facing the riverfront. The Chief Engineer also informed the Chief Minister that so far 1.5 lakh cubic metres of earth has been dredged from the river from Botengo, Gar Hanjipora, Dooripora, Sangam to Halmulla, since March this year. Mufti Sayeed also inspected the site for shopping arcade and wayside amenities at Bijbehara at a cost of Rs.4.5 crore. Besides the shops, the complex will have facilities of meeting hall and washrooms. Secretary Tourism informed the Chief Minister that INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage) has been engaged as consultant for the project so as to blend the traditional with the modern architecture. The Chief Minister also paid obeisance at Kabamarg and Reshmaloo Sahib, where he ordered fast-tracking devri flooring of the shrine interiors and the construction of shelter-sheds by Tourism Department. The J&K WakfBoard was tasked to speed up renovation of wudu khanas. At Kabamarg, the Tourism Department is constructing wudu khanas for the visiting devotees. While visiting Municipal Shopping Complex at Anantnag, the Chief Minister ordered expediting work so that the project is completed without any further delay. Commissioner / Secretary, School Education, Shaleen Kabra, Director General, Information & PR, Zaffar Ahmad, Secretary Tourism, Farooq A, Shah, Secretary to Chief Minister, M. H. Malik, Director School Education, Dr. Shah Faesal, Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Muneer-ul-Islam, and Chief Engineer R&B, Satish Razdan, Chief Engineer, I&FC, Javed Jaffar, besides several other senior officers were also present on the occasion.
2015 Kashmir Despatch