Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked the Administrative Secretaries to address the critical gaps in development administration and ensure timely flow of funds down below so that projects are completed in time without any overrun of cost or time.
The spokesman said that while addressing a meeting of Administrative Secretaries, the Chief Minister advised them to visit districts and far-flung areas periodically to assess the status of development works, fix the bottlenecks, if any, and lead the teams of executing agencies in getting the projects completed in time.
The Chief Minister, who visited most of the district headquarters in the State during her public outreach programme, expressed dismay over the projects getting stuck due to small issues like land acquisition and forest clearance despite money being available and projects standing up to these clearance norms.
During the marathon meeting, Mehbooba Mufti reviewed at length the status of projects and initiatives taken by various Departments.
On the PMDP, the Chief Minister directed all Administrative Secretaries to monitor closely the execution of projects within their respective domains and try to fix the bottlenecks wherever these are identified.
Mehbooba Mufti reviewed the status of projects in power distribution and stabilisation in the State. She was informed that work on improving power distribution projects in eight districts would start from next week while as in other districts tendering process is in final stages. Also, she was informed, that work on Alastaing grid station would be completed before the end of this year. These steps would give power distribution in the State a boost.
The Chief Minister was also informed that electrification of 70 unelectrified villages has been completed much ahead of the deadline of March 31. As for the commitments made by the Chief Minister during her public outreach programmes, she was informed that 90% of works in terms of laying of necessary infrastructure has been completed while rest would be completed by the end of the month.
In the horticulture sector, Mehbooba Mufti asked the concerned Department to prepare early for the procurement of High-Density Apple plants. She also asked for making the adequate quantity of fertilisers and weedicides available to farmers.
The Chief Minister was informed that six to seven nurseries are being established in the State for apple and walnut plants and also the quarantine facilities are being rented out to farmers by the Department. She directed pacing up of work on the 23 mandies being set up across the State so that the farmers get the facility adjacent to their places.
Mehbooba Mufti directed the Tourism Department to intensify its campaigns to attract more tourists for the coming seasons. She also reviewed the status of projects being executed by the Department. She was informed that two major events-Tulip festival and convention of travel agents-has been planned for the current month itself even as a panel of consultants has been engaged to improve the old tourist units at various destinations.
Mehbooba Mufti also reviewed the completion status of model tribal villages and girls hostels in the State. She was informed that work is apace on 64 girls hostels by the School Education Department and six by Tribal Affairs Department and most of these would be ready by next year. Besides 19 model tribal villages are coming up in the State and two residential schools are being opened up next month by the Department, she was informed.
In the Finance sector, the Chief Minister directed close monitoring of expenditure and resource mobilisation given the fag end of the current fiscal. She was informed that the State awaits an additional instalment of GST subvention from the Centre beside efforts would be made to ensure maximum spending and clearance of bills to avoid any lapse of the funds.
The Chief Minister said though the PAO system has been put in abeyance for a while, efforts by the concerned Departments should be made to train their staff and clients for the switchover in the meantime.
The Chief Minister directed Housing & Urban Development Department to pace up the work on the Smart City projects in the State. She was informed that the basic staff required for the purpose has been recruited and work is apace on the convergence process of various schemes and projects in the two cities under the Smart City project. She also took an appraisal of the AMRUT projects in the State and directed their in time completion.