JAMMU, Sep 10: In a significant move, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Wednesday ordered Housing & Urban Development Department (H&UDD) to carry out a comprehensive survey of houseless Low Income Group (LIG) families and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) so that a fair assessment is made about the actual requirement of housing colonies in the state.
He also laid emphasis on keeping provision of well-laid out roads, schools, hospitals, malls, parks and other basic amenities while developing group residential colonies and flatted accommodation. “As a matter of policy, a portion of flats should be earmarked for EWS and LIG families,” he stressed.
On Tuesday, the Chief Minister had ordered framing a comprehensive PPP Policy to overcome acute shortage of affordable housing colonies and formulation of a panel, headed by the Chief Secretary, to ensure execution of projects by SDA and JDA in a time-bound manner.
As a follow-up to his meeting on SDA yesterday, the Chief Minister took several important decisions related to construction of housing colonies and commercial complexes, while chairing a high-level meeting to review progress of ongoing Jammu Development Authority (JDA) projects, here on Wednesday.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, Advisor to Chief Minister, Amitabh Mattoo, Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary Home, R. K. Goyal, Commissioner / Secretary, H&UDD, Bipul Pathak and Divisional Commissioner, Dr. Pawan Kotwal attended the meeting.
Laying stress upon creating a land bank to conceive future projects, Mufti Sayeed directed Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, to facilitate handing over possession of those tracts of land to JDA which have been transferred to the Authority from time-to-time. He said work cannot go on in bits-and-pieces and steps on a fast-track basis have to be initiated to hand over land to JDA. “We need sites to set up new residential colonies to provide affordable housing to the houseless people,” he said and observed that Government cannot shut its eyes to a huge crisis unfolding on the housing front.
The Divisional Commissioner informed the Chief Minister that the process (of handing over land) requires allocation of funds for demarcation and fencing as also engaging patwaris to achieve the task. “The JDA is expected to accord approval to hiring of retired patwaris for a fixed period of six months in its next Governing Body meeting of JDA on September 15,” he added.
The Chief Minister noted with concern that most of the projects under implementation in Jammu are not on fast-track. He said he believes in giving people a positive message that focuses on holistic development of J&K state. “For the first time since 1947, the people have given us a golden opportunity to bring people of three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh together under one umbrella,” he stressed.
On the issue of revision of Jammu Master Plan-2021, the Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to expedite the proposal so that it is referred to the Cabinet for ratification. As many as 103 villages will be brought under the ambit of Jammu Master Plan-2032 for planned development of the winter capital and its suburbs.
The revised Master Plans of Jammu and Srinagar cities have been prepared on the basis of digital maps, based on GPS (Global Positioning System).
While being briefed about ongoing projects for setting up group housing flats at Muthi, Roop Nagar, Gole Gujral, Birpur and Kot Bhalwal, the Chief Minister directed Commissioner / Secretary H&UDD to examine and forward a proposal to GoI for obtaining financial assistance for subsidizing the beneficiaries belonging to EWS Category under Housing for All Scheme.
The Chief Minister asked the Deputy Chief Minister to visit Jagti residential colony, along with Advisor to the Chief Minister, to take firsthand appraisal of the facilities and basic amenities being extended to the migrant families living there.
Mufti Sayeed also reviewed the progress on modernization / multi-tier parking at General Bus Stand (GBS) for which bids have been evaluated and recommended to JDA Governing Body for approval. The six-floor structure to be constructed at a cost of Rs.201.68 crore with built-up area of 60,064 sq m, will have parking for 1300 vehicles, besides facility of food courts and shopping line. The project is expected to be completed within a stipulated timeframe of two years.
Expressing concern over slow progress over multi-tier puzzle parking at Panjtirthi, the Chief Minister directed Commissioner, JMC, Mandeep Kour, to remove impediments to pave way for work to start on the project.
Mufti Sayeed also reviewed progress of ongoing commercial projects at Jammu which are coming up at Muthi, Office Block at Fruit Market Narwal, parking opposite Maharja Hari Singh Park. He was also briefed about the projects in pipeline which include group housing and plot development at Nagrota, Sidhra and Jagti, commercial complex at Raipur Kohlar, on pattern of Bahu Plaza Apartments, besides development of Maharaja Hari Singh Park at an estimated cost of Rs. 4 crore. The park, facing the riverfront, will be laced with joggers’ tracks, musical fountain, walkways and ampi-theatre.
To provide fillip to horticulture and vegetable business, the Chief Minister asked Chief Secretary to carry out survey of fruit production and setting up of CA stores for increasing shelf-life of perishable produce like mango and citrus fruits so that farmers get adequate returns for their produce. “Scientists of SKUAST-J need to come out of their cocoons and share their expertise with fruit growers,” he insisted.
He was informed that at least three CA stores will be set up in Jammu shortly to boost marketability of fruit and vegetables.
The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to identify a chunk of land of about 4-5 km in Jammu precincts that can be taken up by J&K Bank under its CSR for development of an Amusement Park, on the analogy of Badamwari in Srinagar.
The Chief Minister directed VC JDA to keep provision for setting up of an IT Park while conceiving futuristic projects. He described as impressive the concept plan for expansion of Jammu city and hoped that all projects stick to timelines. “People need deeds, not words,” he said, stressing that perception amongst people about development needs to change quickly.
Mufti Sayeed also ordered immediate macadamization of all important roads in Jammu city by R&B on a fast-track basis. He also asked Chief Secretary to ensure that funds from the corpus of Rs.6,000 crore Centrally-sponsored schemes are released on time to all the districts for speedy implementation of social and developmental sector schemes.
In his address, the Deputy Chief Minister, said all resources will be mobilized to make JDA a self-sustaining body for creation of productive assets in the winter capital, which faces the daunting task of providing facilities of housing and commerce to an ever-growing population. He assured the Chief Minister that all projects taken in hand by JDA vis-à-vis housing and setting up of commercial establishments will be completed in a time-bound manner.
Also present in the meeting were Director General Information & Public Relations, Zaffar Ahmad, IGP, Jammu Zone, Danesh Rana, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Samba, Sheetal Nanda, Commissioner, JMC, Mandeep Kour, Director Urban Local Bodies, Jammu, Suajanya Sharma and VC JDA Mubarik Singh, besides other senior officers.
2015 Kashmir Despatch