Responding to the serious concern shown by the Members of Srinagar District Development Board regarding comparably smaller Plan allocations for Srinagar District, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah announced Rs. 35 crore under Special Area Development Programme (SADP) for the District besides giving nod to Rs. 63.47 crore Annual Plan 2013-14 making the total funds of Rs. 98.47 crore available to the District for the current financial year.
Chairing Srinagar District Development Board meeting of which he is also the Chairman, the Chief Minister said that he has asked the Planning Department to revisit the system of allocating funds under District Plans and take corrective measures to remove the distort if observed in the allocation of funds to Srinagar District.
The Chief Minister said that various committees in Planning and Development Department are already on the job and recommendations made by the State Finance Commission headed by Mahamood-ur-Rehman are being taken into account to ensure equitable distribution of funds to all Districts.
The Chief Minister said that it is also a fact that District Srinagar is not receiving funds under NABARD, MGNREGA and other Centrally sponsored schemes in various sectors for being highly urban in its characteristic. However, he said that the distort in allocation of funds has to be examined and removed once for all so that District does not rely on additionalities and special grants which sometimes are not available at the end of the year and mar development process in the District.
While appreciating the District Administration for achieving more than 99 percent targets of spending under the last year’s Annual Plan, Omar Abdullah said that it should be eye-opener for those who carry the false propaganda against the status of spending in the State. It may be mentioned here that all the Districts of the State have achieved more than 90 percent expenditure on plan allocations during the last year.
The Chief Minister said that the situation would have been better had the Government of India released about Rs. 1300 crores out of the sanctioned Rs. 7300 crores approved Annual Plan for the State for the year 2012-13. Due to financial constraints Government of India was not in a position to release the plan allocations in full last year despite sanctioning full funded budget. However, the Planning Commission of India has maintained Rs. 7300 crores Annual Plan for the State for the current financial year.
The Chief Minister directed the District Administration to utilize Rs. 35 crores made available to the District under Special Area Development Programme on completion of ongoing schemes. He said such projects should not be taken in hand which require huge amounts and get hampered for want of flow of finances. He said that timely completion of the schemes should be made benchmark in realizing physical targets. “Spending should be judicious, transparent and as per the availability”, he said asking for focusing on outcomes instead of outputs.
Omar Abdullah said that two major Water Supply schemes of Tangnar involving Rs. 148 crores and Sukhnag costing Rs. 121 crore are expected to be completed this year. He said the commissioning of these schemes would augment the drinking water supply in the District to a greater extent.
The Chief Minister directed for carrying out macadamization and black topping of roads aggressively keeping in view the shortest span of working season available for this purpose. He also asked the District Administration to finalize proposals in consultation with legislators and public representatives regarding creation of new schools and health centres in the areas where there is urgent need for such basic amenities.
Omar Abdullah said that the State Government is expecting some Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1200 crores under JNNURM this year which would help to give fillip to providing better civic facilities to the people in the twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu.
The Chief Minister also asked the District Administration to examine construction of Convention Centres in Srinagar city at feasible places so that these are utilized for social purposes. He also directed for examining the possibilities of utilizing Hajj House for social purposes adding that the huge infrastructure remains unutilized for about ten months. “The District Administration should look into this aspect and ascertain how it could be utilized during the lean period”, he said.
Speaking in the meeting, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah underlined the need for utilizing the solar energy in government institutions like Hospitals, Schools, Colleges, etc and in the households for water heating purpose. He said solar energy is being utilized throughout the Country for various purposes and Government of Jammu and Kashmir should also come forward in a big way in this direction.
“My Ministry will provide you all necessary support in this regard”, he said and asked the administration to prepare proposals and projects to harness new and renewable energy resources. He said, he along with Central team will be visiting the State after the month of fast to discuss various schemes relating to utilization of new and renewable energy resources. “You should prepare plans and projects to take best advantage of Union Government’s support in this regard”, he emphasized.