Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday called for giving a renewed push to the “Mission on Delivering Governance” and “Mission on Delivering Development” to bring Jammu and Kashmir back on course.
“Our collective priority should be to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to mitigate their problems through good governance and address their developmental concerns with outcome-based action,” Governor said at the introductory meeting with his Advisors, B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar & Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police, Dr S P Vaid, Principal Secretary to the Governor, Umang Narula and all the Administrative Secretaries at the Governor’s Secretariat here this morning.
Governor made it clear to the officers that he has no political agenda and wants to just serve the people of the State, in whatever way possible. “What Jammu and Kashmir needs, is a sincere outreach to redress the day-to-day problems of the people,” he said and added that shortly after he reached Srinagar last week, he received a complaint of waterlogging in colonies around Mustafabad, HMT on the outskirts of Srinagar. “I gave instructions for tackling the problem immediately. This may be a small gesture, but people appreciated it as they felt that their writ is running now,” he said.
Hailing J&K’s civil and police administration for working tirelessly for the welfare of the people amid challenging situation, Governor said the state administration needs to function with renewed efficiency, speed, and accountability and deliver quick results on the ground on developmental and governance fronts so that the people get the much-needed relief and feel visible change.
Stressing the need for ensuring rapid, people-centric governance, Governor enumerated the short and long-term measures to be taken to achieve this objective. He said strengthening and expansion of grievance redressal mechanism, timely execution of developmental projects, public outreach, attendance in offices, strengthening anti-corruption mechanism, expediting recruitment process/SRO-43 cases & regularization under SRO-520, intensifying anti-encroachment drive, improving traffic management, augmenting power supply & availability of potable water, supplementing human resource in health and educational institutions, conservation of water bodies, effective flood mitigation and creating career progression avenues for officers/officials at every level will be the priority areas for the administration in the first instance.
He said instructions have already been passed for setting up Grievance Cells in the offices of all the Deputy Commissioners across the State with a designated Nodal Officer. “The Deputy Commissioners will dedicate one day every week exclusively for hearing public grievances and ensuring appropriate redressal,” Governor said and added that the Advisors and other Government functionaries shall be regularly visiting various parts of the State to ensure on-the-spot redress of public grievances.
“Focus has to be on working through transparency and consultation to promote a culture of excellence in governance characterized by integrity and highest standards of deliverance,” he said and added that judicious and productive use of resources has to be ensured so that the funds are utilized according to priorities.
Governor said he will be always available personally to address any issue facing the administration in the smooth discharge of their duties. “I will be also available to the public to listen to their grievances,” he said and added that most of the times people have genuine small issues which can be addressed immediately and it leaves a huge impact on the public psyche.
Recognizing that J&K police is making huge sacrifices for maintaining peace and rule of law in the State, Governor expressed grief over the killing of four policemen at Shopian yesterday. He said acknowledging the role of the J&K Police, the Government will be announcing a slew of welfare measures for the force shortly.
The Advisors and the Chief Secretary briefed the Governor in detail about the administrative and developmental measures being taken to accomplish the “Mission on Delivering Governance” and “Mission on Delivering Development”.
The Chief Secretary informed the Governor that he will come across one of the finest lot of officers in J&K both from, within and outside the State, who are working very efficiently on every front.
Earlier, on his arrival at the Civil Secretariat, Governor was presented the ceremonial Guard of Honor by a contingent of J&K Police.
Advisors to Governor, B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar & Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police, Dr S P Vaid, Financial Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries received the Governor at the Civil Secretariat.
Governor for a comprehensive strategy to deal with flood-like situations
Governor Satya Pal Malik has called for a comprehensive strategy and tangible measures to deal with flood-like situations in the State with specific reference to Kashmir Valley. He directed the Department of Irrigation & Flood Control to put in place all the necessary arrangements effectively deal with any flood-like situations to prevent recurrence of the September-2014 situation.
The Governor emphasized the need for a fresh review of flood mitigation plans by all the Deputy Commissioners and speeding up the process of clearing the drainages; strengthening the river banks with a special focus on vulnerable spots.
The Governor complimented the administration over the preparatory work done and directed the concerned to take immediate action to fill up any identified additional gaps to thwart any challenge due to flood like situation in future. He called for maintaining a close synergy by various agencies for ensuring tangible results on the ground.
The Governor also obtained detailed feedback on the progress of PMDP and directed for speeding up the process to achieve the targets in a time bound manner.
In a power point presentation, the Secretary Irrigation & Flood Control informed the Governor that during the recent flood like situation from the last week of June and first week of July, 2018, the Central Flood Control Room was set up at Ram Munshibagh; Automatic Water Level Recorders and Automatic Rain Gauges were installed at essential sites viz. Sangam, Ram Munshibagh, Khudwani, Batkoot and Wachi; Global Navigation Satellite System is being used for correlating the manual and automatic Gauge sites with each other; Doppler Radar and Automatic Weather/Rain Gauge stations have been put in place to gain real time data in advance, during any adverse situation; adequate quantity of empty cement bags kept available to deal with the situation. Encroachments were removed from the Jhelum Spill Channel and tributaries; dredging of river Jhelum and flood spill channel has been initiated; with World Bank support, River Morphology Study of Jhelum has been initiated for better flood forecasting.
It was further informed that the Department had established 260 tents along with other facilities; 40 Relief Camps in district Srinagar and 7 Nodal Officers appointed; 7 teams of SDRF and two teams of NDRF, along with motorized boats were positioned; 100 personnel of Home Guards and Civil Defence, besides 2,500 Police personnel and 3,000 CRPF, kept ready for assisting evacuation operations; 260 family tents pitched; 30 toilets (male and female) erected; medical teams deployed, along with medicines and chlorine tablets.
One Central Flood Committee consisting of 22 members; 11 District Coordination Committees consisting of 20 members each headed by the Deputy Commissioners and 14 District Flood Zonal Committees headed by the Executive Engineers have been constituted to deal with any flood eventuality.
Regarding strengthening and raising the embankments of the river, Governor was informed that 113 spots on river Jhelum have been identified and strengthened during monitoring by Beat and Sectoral Officers; 140 spots on tributaries have been temporarily restored and strengthened; strengthening of 25 spots on river Jhelum and 68 spots on tributaries are under progress.
Under the long-term measures, the action has already been taken by the state Government under Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project in consultation I & FC Department Kashmir. Under these measures, the PM’s Core Group & the team of directors of CWC visited the valley in 2015 and recommended some vital steps to be taken under long term strategy as well to mitigate a flood threat of 1,15000 cusecs at Sangam.
The State Government has already initiated steps viz engaging the consultancy for “conduct of Surveys, feasibility studies, EIA/EMP for integrated Comprehensive Flood management of River Jhelum & its tributaries including preparation of Detailed Project Report.”, under world bank funding through its state PMU (Project monitoring Unit) under JTFRP.
The Consultancy has been recently awarded to M/S EPTISA of Spain by the State PMU of JTFRP after approval from World Bank. The consultancy will act as a complete road map for mitigation of Floods in Kashmir. The M/S EPTISA Ltd has started their preliminary field visits on 23-7-2018 from south Kashmir.
It was also informed that sufficient funds have been kept at the disposal of Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners for the procurement of emergency material according to the situation.
Governor takes stock of Dal Lake conservation measures
Governor, Satya Pal Malik called for initiating both short and long-term measures for the effective conservation and preservation of the J&K’s water bodies including the Dal Lake.
Chairing a high-level meeting at Civil Secretariat here this morning, Governor ordered fixing timelines for various tasks to be accomplished urgently for effective conservation and restoration measures.
Governor called for framing a comprehensive legislative framework for conservation of water bodies in the State as these are closely linked to the survival of the people.
Governor made it clear that conservation and restoration of water bodies including Dal-Nageen Lakes will be among the priority areas of his Administration and the Prime Minister, in his Independence Day speech this year, also stressed the urgency of the conservation of this important water bodies in J&K.
Financial Commissioner, Housing & Urban Development, briefed the Governor in detail about the measures being taken for the conservation of the Dal-Nageen Lakes.
These include procurement of machinery and equipment as already approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC), removal of encroachments upgradation of STPs, deweeding and cleaning of lake surface, installation of Bio-Digesters, restoration and beautification of The Boulevard and relocation of Dal dwellers.
Relocation of Structures
The meeting was informed that giving the varying figures regarding the actual number of structures to be relocated from in and around the Dal Lake on the directions of the High Court, the Government has ordered a fresh survey of all such structures to be completed within 10 days under the supervision of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir.
Governor directed that the fresh survey should be a comprehensive updated exercise to identify and enlist, preferably on the basis of Aadhaar number and photograph of the head of each family, each such structure which is to be relocated as a part of the Dal Conservation program. He said the support of local elected representatives and other stakeholders should be enlisted for the purpose.
Procurement of Machinery
Governor was informed that following the approval the State Administrative Council (SAC), for procurement/hiring of lake cleaning machinery and equipment including weed harvesters, skimmers and amphibious excavators, the tenders have already been floated in this regard and the process for procurement/purchase of machinery is to be completed within next two months.
Further 900 Bio-Digesters at a cumulative cost of Rs 15 crore are to be installed in House Boats in the Lake for treatment of sewage emanating from them.
Governor was informed that the number of boats and manpower has been doubled to 1000 and 2000 respectively to expedite manual deweeding/skimmingof the Lake to ensure that the Lake surface is cleared of weeds and hazardous plantation by December 2018.
Governor directed that the Vice-Chairman LAWDA would personally visit the interiors of the Lake regularly to monitor the progress of deweeding and ensure set targets are met within the timeline.
Installation of STPS
Governor was informed that LAWDA has moved a proposal for increasing the capacity of Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) around the Lake from the existing 36 MLD to 50 MLD to ensure that no raw sewage from the catchments goes into the Lake for which Rs 111 crore are needed.
The meeting was informed that the drainage and STP network in being strengthened to prevent night soil of around 60000 population presently going directly into the lake.
Relocation of Dal dwellers
The meeting was informed that in order to facilitate the rehabilitation of dwellers, J&K Housing Board was authorized to initiate the construction of 13000 3BHK flats at Rakh-e-Arth through cost recovery mechanism under PPP mode and 7,500 2BHK flats at Chandpora, Harwan specifically for Dal dwellers on cross subsidized basis.
It was further decided that in view of the fresh proposal for construction of flats, no new plots would be allotted to the Dal dwellers.
The meeting decided that the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) would make a detailed presentation before the State Administrative Council regarding the dredging proposal before a decision is taken on the same.
Beautification of the Boulevard
The meeting decided that the Public Works Department (R&B) would immediately take up restoration of the Boulevard pavements from Dalgate to SKICC in the first phase.
Governor was also informed about other issues concerning Dal Lake including proposed construction of Western Foreshore Road, formulation of Master Plan, study regarding estimation of pesticides in Dal Lake, tackling Red Algal bloom, vegetation mapping, formulation of Water Sports Policy, development of Dole Dumb and artificial wetlands, unified control of House Boats, policy framework for promoting water sports in Dal and Nageen Lakes and strengthening of the Enforcement wing of the LAWDA. The meeting passed appropriate directions on each issue.