Srinagar: J&K government on Monday announced that it will tackle pressing requirements of the twin capital cites through Capital City Development Plan (CCDP). Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti announced launch of the plan while presiding over Srinagar’s District Development Board (DDB).
Funding to CCDP, however, will be made separately from the District Development Plan. “City development agencies like Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), the Cantonment Board and other externally aided projects aimed at infrastructure development in the summer capital shall be de-linked from funding under the district plan and provided with dedicated resources under an independent arrangement,” an official spokesman said. “The decision was taken to pace up the developmental progress of the city and augment the socio economic infrastructure in view of the increasing population and demands.”
For the launch year, Ms Mufti announced government is setting aside Rs 600 crore for fiscal 2017-18, which would be over and above Rs 102 crore annual plan for the district. She also announced Rs 50 lakh for every one of the eight city assembly constituencies for “focused infrastructure development.”
CCDP would be funded from resources coming from State’s own resources, Prime Minister’s Developmental Programme (PMDP), Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Public-Private Partnership. City Mayor would be eventually be the top overseeing authority though currently divisional commissioners would be assuming that role.
“CCDP would be based on assessment of the existing developmental scenario in the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu, outlining a vision for future development and strategising for achieving these objectives,” an official spokesman quoted her saying. “It will also work-out the indicative investment requirements and financial operating plans, indicating how investments made in public infrastructure are to be sustained.”
The initiatives aimed at ensuring coordinated infrastructure development in the capital cities, as otherwise multiplicity of executing and implementing agencies has resulted in lopsided planning and non-productive utilization of resources. It would ensure planned development of the capital cities including peri-urban areas, out growths and urban corridors, so that urbanization takes place in a dispersed and uniform manner,” she said adding that the new mechanism would also help scale up the delivery of civic amenities and provision of utilities to the residents of Srinagar and Jammu cities.
In praise of city
Describing Srinagar as a unique city and the oldest in India after Varanasi, Ms Mufti it is the duty of everybody to take the city to the heights commensurate with its culture, history and rich heritage. She hoped that this year working season would be utilized full to execute the works and compensate the loss of time during last fiscal.
Terming the old city as a symbol of heritage, Mehbooba asked for dovetailing handicrafts and heritage in city development in such a fashion to make Srinagar an attraction for art and heritage lovers. She said the government is trying to promote Srinagar as a tourist destination in itself and this year 23 projects worth Rs 123 crore have been taken up in the city. She directed exploring the tourist potential of water bodies in the city besides Dal like Chounte Kul, Kitte Kul, Sonner Kul etc.
Ms Mufti also stressed on giving a thought to operationalisation of water transport through Jhelum and across Dal to develop alternate transportation and increase the tourist footfall in the city. She directed completion of work on all ongoing projects in the city.
In addition to Rs 600 crore for Capital City Plan and Rs 102 crore under district sector allocation, Chief Minister, approved release of Rs 34 crore as additionality for the current fiscal besides Rs 20 crore for settling cases of land acquisition and other expenses.
In a specific direction, the Chief Minister ordered immediate repairs of the toilets in offices, schools and hospitals.
16 projects under AMRUT
In the DDB, the officials also announced that 16 projects worth Rs 234 crore stand sanctioned under AMRUT for Srinagar city and out of these work on four has been started. Besides, Rs 3600 crore Smart City project is being submitted to Centre for approval under which 101 projects of city development would be taken.
The Smart City project among other things envisages development of 1180 acres of old city, rejuvenation and beautification of Jhelum river fronts and adjoining markets, protection and preservation of some 200 marked heritage buildings besides developing walkways and improving urban transportation in the Srinagar city.
Ms Mufti directed exploring the possibilities of raising flat type accommodations for the city dwellers so that they don’t have to relocate far away and also housing needs of people would also be largely addressed.
On the cultural richness of the city, Mehbooba Mufti directed exploring possibilities of setting up an Art Gallery in Srinagar. She said a huge treasure of artifacts in the city is lying unattended and stressed the need for having a gallery to show case the local art and heritage. She also directed expeditious completion of work on the SPS Museum.
In the PWD sector, the meeting was informed, six bridges in the district are in advanced stages of completion and are likely to be completed by this year end. Moreover, work on the Rs 1861 crore semi ring road project for the city is expected to be started this year for which land acquisition process is being expedited.
In the health sector, the meeting was informed that nine major projects are under execution in the summer capital. This includes a 500 bedded Paediatric hospital at Bemina and World Bank aided 250 bed additional block of Lal Ded hospital besides developing a Centre of Excellence Ophthalmology Centre at SMHS over a cost of Rs. Seven crore.
The meeting was also informed that Solid Waste Management project worth Rs 90 crore is under execution at Achen.