Cross-LoC trade, travel will be strengthened: Mufti 


KL Report


Expressing sadness over the sluggish pace of cross-LoC ties that had a historic beginning in 2005 when the first bus travelled from Muzaffarabad to Srinagar, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today resolved to take further his peace-building measures to bring people living across the Line of Control (LoC) closer to each other.

He praised former Prime Ministers of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, for realizing his dream of starting the trade and travel ties across the LoC.

“To make cross-LoC trade meaningful, we need to accede to the demand of the traders on both sides for making basic facilities like telecommunications and banking available. The wayside facilities and road up to Kaman Post has also to be improved and double-lanned, he stated.

The Chief Minister said this while interacting with people at Uri and Sheeri, as part of his on-spot tours for firsthand appraisal of several ongoing projects in North Kashmir district of Baramulla today.

The Chief Minister also visited Pattan, Sangrama Kandi, Wagoora, Watergam, Tarzua, Uri, and Baramulla during his whirlwind tour.

Lamenting that the cross-LoC ties have stuck up since 2005, Mufti Sayeed assured that with the active support of the Central Government, the travel, trade and cultural relations across the LoC will flourish further.

Referring to his several initiatives for developing Uri as a Model Town, the Chief Minister announced uninterrupted power supply to the picturesque border parish. He also announced construction of a 100-bedded Girls Hostel, Bio-lavatories, filtration plant for potable drinking water, up-gradation of 60-km Zehampora-Shahdara Road, examining revival of historical Mohura Power House and double-lanning of Baramulla-Uri Road.

Dwelling on the recruitment policy that envisages appointment at district level to fast-track filling up of vacant posts especially in the health sector, the Chief Minister said it ensures stationing of doctors and paramedics in far-flung areas like Uri. “We want to fill up vacancies on a fast-track basis in a fair and transparent manner,” he asserted.

Speaking on the occasion, former Minister and MP, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, praised Mufti Sayeed for his vision in putting J&K firmly on the path of development. He said the State’s share in Central funds will be released shortly as the Union Budget has been passed only a few days ago. “People have to show patience. The PDP-BJP Government has been in place for only 75 days,” he stated.

On reaching Sheeri, the Chief Minister visited the area’s Public Health Centre. He passed immediate instructions for landscaping and beautifying the campus premises and maintaining its cleanliness. He also sanctioned a fire station which will cater to Sheeri and its catchment areas.

Mufti Sayeed also visited Baramulla District Hospital and inspected the proposed site for already-announced medical college.

At district headquarters Baramulla, the Chief Minister was briefed about the proposal for de-congesting the Old Baramulla Town and construction of a Marriage-cum-Convention Centre.

It was given out in the briefing that the project to de-congest Old Baramulla town is in a state of limbo for last one decade as the already released Rs. 11 crore for the project remain unspent till date.

The Chief Minister issued directions for restoring the powers of the project to the Deputy Commissioner, which were earlier given to the Divisional Commissioner. He also gave approval for construction of a Marriage-cum-Convention Centre, which envisages a cost of Rs.10 crore.

Mufti Sayeed also visited the Baramulla Bar Chambers where he was accorded a warm welcome. He released Rs. five lakh for library and issued directions for construction of a conference hall.

Earlier, on his arrival at Pattan, Mufti Sayeed inspected the status of work on Trauma Hospital, Babateng. He went around the under-construction Main Block and sanctioned balance portion of funds for completion of the works in the 1st Phase.

The Chief Minister also fixed the date of August 16 this year for its inauguration. He also called upon Minister for Public Works to take up landscaping and macadamization of approach road to the hospital.

Minister of IT, YS&S, Imran Raza Ansari was also present on the occasion.

Spread over 53 kanals of land, the construction of Pattan Trauma Hospital was started way back in 2006. Due to cost overruns, the project now envisages Rs. 22.85 crore for completion of the Main Building and residential quarters for doctors and paramedical staff.

While interacting with shopkeepers and traders in Main Market at Pattan, the Chief Minister said the four-lanning of the market road with pedestrian pathways will be taken up shortly.

Interacting with people at Watergam, the Chief Minister announced opening of a branch of J&K Bank and macadamization of internal roads. He also issued instructions for making functional the Shah Kohal Irrigation Scheme which will hugely benefit the apple orchardists.

The Chief Minister also sanctioned Rs. five lakh and 10 computers for students of Imamia Public School, Watergam.

Mufti Sayeed also visited Government High School, Watergam and interacted with the students. He issued directions for keeping a provision in the grants of State Sports Council for maintenance and fencing of the school playground.

At Sangrama Kandi, the Chief Minister announced establishment of a sill development institute to increase the employability of youth in Government and Private Sector. He also issued directions for expediting work on Drang Power House.

Mufti Sayeed also said that scenic Sranz and its adjoining area will be brought under the jurisdiction of Gulmarg Development Authority.

The Public Works Department was directed to macadamize the Chonthpatri-Faqir Bagh-Sherpora Road to facilitate the people.

On his arrival at Wagoora, the Chief Minister said he will prioritize the strengthening of the embankments of Ningli and Ferozpur nullahs, which caused widespread damage in 2014 floods. “Under the new Recruitment Policy, the shortage of doctors in rural areas will be addressed and all vacancies will be filled up.” he stated.

The Chief Minister said all roads, including Shrakwara-Kachwa-Dandmoh Road, in Wagoora tehsil will be macadamized on top priority. He assured that the quality of work on roads will be ensured by holding the contractors accountable by making them to maintain roads for three years.

The Chief Minister also inspected PHC Tarzua where he released Rs 50 lakh to make it functional. He went around the PHC and issued instructions for ensuring that both doctors and paramedic staff are posted to facilitate the people.

The Chief Minister was briefed that the work on the PHC was started way back in 2004 and is still awaiting completion.

Tarzua, in Sangrama constituency, suffered extensive damage to public and private property in the massive floods of 2014.

The Chief Minister also announced Rs. 50 lakh for lift irrigation scheme Haritar. He also called upon Minister for Public Works to keep allocation for Hygam-Tarzua-Sopore Road so that alternate connectivity is provided to the people living in the area.

Mufti issued instructions for installation of de-watering pumps at Tarzua to drain out water from areas which get water-logged in rainy season. He also passed instructions for de-silting the Ningli nullah



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