Batting for creating ample job opportunities to harness state’s talented human resource, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday called for a strategy to focus on skill development and entrepreneurship to overcome the challenge of unemployment. He described IT as a happening sector and also outlined the need to start courses which promote Kashmir’s famed skills in handicraft. “We will create an enabling environment to utilize the youth power at our disposal for productivity and inward wealth generation,” he added. The Chief Minister made these observations during his tour of the summer capital and the adjoining district of Budgam to take firsthand appraisal of technical, industrial and sports infrastructure, besides follow up inspection of ongoing city works. He visited Electronics Park, Rangreth, Industrial Estate, Ompora, ITIs at Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan, Raj Bagh and Bemina, Government Women’s Polytechnic, Bemina, Electronics Park, Rangreth, Industrial Estate (IE), Ompora, Indoor Stadium at Tulsi Bagh as well as Sports Stadia at Rajouri Kadal and Radpora in downtown city. He also inspected the ongoing work at SPS Museum, Astroturf at TRC Ground, besides Old Zero and upcoming Bridge near Presentation Convent School at Raj Bagh. Besides Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti, Minister for IT, Youth Services & Sports and Technical Education, Imran Raza Ansari, Minister of State for H&UDD, I&C and Power, Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Legislators, Anjum Fazili and Noor Mohammad accompanied the Chief Minister. Upon his arrival at Electronics’ Park, Rangreth, Mufti Sayeed was briefed about the new IT Park, which has been set up at a cost of Rs. five crore over an area of 25000 sq. ft. He also interacted with a few software developers of one of the firms running its project in the park. The Chief Minister also visited the Aegis Call Centre, set up by ESSAR Group, where he interacted with the staff of the customer care service. He expressed his desire to enhance the intake capacity of the BPO. During his visit to Mumbai earlier this month, the Chief Minister was assured by Anshuman Ruia of the Aegis Group to double the number of seats at its existing call centres. At IE Ompora, Mufti Sayeed said the place is ideally-suited for establishing high-tech industry. He issued directions for demarcation of at least 350 kanals of land to facilitate the advent of IT industry at Ompora. On the issue of concerns raised by the Air Force authorities, the Chief Minister asked Divisional Commissioner to sort out the matter so that the industrial estate is made functional at an earliest. Spread over 1000 kanals of land, IE Ompora has been positioned for establishing IT Parks, besides National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) for which 150 kanals of land has been earmarked. While reviewing progress of work on upgrading sports infrastructure, the Chief Minister asked Secretary Sports Council to complete ongoing construction of pavilion at Radpora Stadium, in Nowhatta, within the next three months. He also asked CE R&B to coordinate with DC, Srinagar, who is the chairman of the District Sports Council, to construct a surface drain and earth fill the playing arena within the next one month. Mufti Sayeed also visited Ghani Stadium at Rajouri Kadal where he ordered Secretary Sports Council to prepare a plan for construction of a pavilion and ensuring proper lighting system to facilitate holding of sports activities. Regarding the issue of shifting of two cluster of houses to widen the road, the Chief Minister asked the Divisional Commissioner to examine the matter for settlement of the issue. He also interacted with a large number of inhabitants who apprised him of their difficulties. At Indoor Stadium, Tulsi Bagh, Secretary Sports Council briefed the Chief Minister about ongoing renovation work being undertaken at a cost of Rs.17 crore. Presently, the repair work on roofing of the stadium and relaying of audience seats is under way. On the demand for construction of a basketball court for handicapped athletes at Shafqat Rehabilitation Centre, Safakadal, who have to travel to Tulsi Bagh for practice sessions, Secretary Sports Council assured the Chief Minister that a new court will be laid at their Centre to facilitate them. Following up on his earlier visit to under-construction SPS Museum, the Chief Minister fixed a deadline of second week of January for completion of ground and the first floor. He also directed Floriculture Department to complete the landscaping of the museum lawns. During his visit to Old Zero Bridge and Jhelum Park, Mufti Sayeed directed MD JKPCC to finalise a concept plan for developing parking lots on both sides of the bridge. He was briefed about establishing a houseboat-shaped food court in Jhelum Park, which will go with the ambience of the heritage bridge. The Chief Minister assigned the task of landscaping of Jhelum Park to Floriculture Department. He also directed Chief Engineer I&FC to speed up beautification of Jhelum embankments from Zero Bridge to Veer, Chattabal. Once complete, the Old Zero Bridge and Jhelum Park will be a source of attraction for the visiting tourists also. During his inspection of under-construction bridge near Presentation Convent, the Chief Minister was informed by CE R&B that the work on it will be completed by September 2016. Being constructed at a cost of Rs.11.65 crore, the bridge will decongest the heavy vehicular traffic on the Abdullah Bridge. While inspecting It is at Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan, Mufti Sayeed issued directions for conceptualising a proposal for establishing a School of Skill Development at Government Women’s Polytechnic Institute, Bemina. He said the proposal should envisage running courses in papier machie, carpet weaving and shawl making, in which Kashmir craftsmen have carved out a niche for themselves. The Chief Minister interacted with trainees at all the ITIs and assigned the department the task of creating a nodal cell which singularly focuses on creating job opportunities for those who complete their training in electronics, data entry, tallying, embroidery stitch work and other streams. He also asked Secretary IT to work out modalities with AICTE to enhance the intake capacity of students at the ITIs. Also present during the tour were Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon, Secretary IT, Hirdesh Kumar, Secretary Tourism, Farooq A. Shah, DC Srinagar, Farooq Lone, Director Technical Education, Shabnam Kamili, Director I&C, Kashmir, Nazim Zai Khan, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, DC Budgam, Mir Altaf, MD JKPCC, Dalip Thussu, Chief Engineer R&B, Satish Razdan, Chief Engineer, I&FC, Javed Jaffar and Secretary Sports Council, Javed Ahmad Shah.
2015 Kashmir Despatch