Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Tuesday toured several parts of summer capital to take firsthand appraisal of various restoration and ongoing projects. During the tour, he visited the new J&K PSC Complex, Old Legislative Complex, new SPS Library, Old Zero Bridge, Botanical Garden and SKUAST-K at Shalimar. Minister for Finance & Culture, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hasan Samoon and Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone accompanied the Chief Minister. After his arrival at new PSC Complex, Chairman, PSC, Lateef-uz-Zaman Deva brought into the notice of the Chief Minister the urgent need for an examination centre within the premises of the PSC Complex, in lieu of the staff quarters for which Rs.3.26 crore are available. The Chief Minister agreed in principle to the proposal for constructing Ground and 1st floor in Phase I, for which DC Srinagar was assigned the task to make land appurtenant to the PSC complex available. The facility of in-house examination centre, with capacity of 2500, will greatly facilitate conduct of competitive examinations and reduce dependence on other educational institutions, which demands greater logistic build up. After the PSC was made fully functional by the present government, out of the 238 posts referred so far, the Commission has completed the selection process for 213 posts. Chairman PSC also briefed the Chief Minister about the difficulties countenanced in fast-tracking selection against 1700 posts of Assistant Professors, which has been delayed as the matter is sub judice. The Commission has already filed an LPA so that the matter is settled without any further loss of time. Amongst the slew of measures which are in the pipeline to facilitate the prospective aspirants, is the ‘One Time Registration’ (OTR), which will generate sms alerts to the candidates for posts which are commensurate with his or her qualification, against which they can offer their candidature. Members and Secretary PSC were also present on the occasion. Mufti Sayeed also visited the Old Legislature Complex, which is being restored with expertise from INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage), Kashmir Chapter. Consultant, Samir Hamdani, made a brief presentation before the Chief Minister about the Conservation of Old Shergadi Complex. Mufti Sayeed went around the premises and was particularly enthralled by the old papier machiework on the ceilings of the historic complex. Comparing the Old Legislature Complex to Westminster Abbey, London, the Chief Minister stressed upon restoring its past glory. The complex presently houses several offices including State Human Rights Commission, State Vigilance Commission, State Accountability Commission and the State Information Commission. Chief Vigilance Commissioner, SVC, Kuldeep Khoda, Director Estates, G. N. Itoo and Secretary LC were also present on the occasion. Later, the Chief Minister arrived at the new SPS Library Complex, where he issued directions for improving the quality of furniture in the library halls. He also issued instructions for landscaping the lawns and constructing a boundary wall around the premises. MD JKPCC, Dalip Thusu, informed the Chief Minister that two floors of the complex have been handed over to the Libraries Department, while work on the remaining structure will be completed by August, next year. The original project cost of Rs.17.34 crore has escalated to Rs.30 crore, out of which Rs.17 crore have been released to the executing agency so far. Director, Libraries, Mukhtar-ul-Aziz was also present on the occasion. Asking JKPCC to fast-track work on old zero bridge, Mufti Sayeed desired that the structure be restored by keeping its heritage value intact. He also examined the model of food court at Botanical Garden to be installed on Zero Bridge to make it a heritage destination point for visitors. The Chief Minister and the Minister for Finance & Culture stressed upon embellishing the wooden structure by integrating the glass and papier machie elements as well. He also asked I&FC department to explore possibility of expanding Jhelum Park by including a patch of 5 kanal and 04 marlas of land situated adjacent to it. The DC was directed to work out the shifting of utilities so that the patch of land is merged with the Park, for which a food court facility is being planned. The Chief Minister later arrived at SKUAST-K, where he asked the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Nazir Ahmad, to create extension linkages with the farming community so that they benefit from the research and experiments carried out by the university scientists. Minister for Horticulture, Haj & Auqaf, A. R. Veeri and Minister for Agriculture Production, G. N. Lone were also present on the occasion. The VC briefed the Chief Minister about the high-density orcharding for which a demonstration nursery has been set up over a piece of land within the SKUAST campus that bears 25 MT of fruits in a brief gestation period of two years. On being asked by the Chief Minister about the availability of rootstock and government’s plan to import stocks from Europe to rejuvenate the orchards, the VC dwelled upon university’s own multiplication programme, which will enable the university to have its own high quality rootstock ready for high-density orcharding in due course of time. The Chief Minister also visited the Research Centre for Residue and Quality Control, a state referral laboratory under the aegis of SKUAST-K, where he was briefed about various advanced research programmes being carried out by the scientists. Also present on the occasion were Chief Engineer, R&B, Satesh Razdan, Chief Engineer, I&FC, Javed Jaffar, ADC Srinagar, Nazir Ahmad and several other senior officers.
2015 Kashmir Despatch