JAMMU, July 9: Governor NN Vohra was today reported to have assured the legislators of the border district of Poonch that the Administrative Secretaries, Head of Departments (HoDs) and Chief Engineers would be asked to visit all districts to facilitate developmental works approved in various meetings including the District Development Boards (DDBs) and other major forums.
The assurance was given by the Governor in one and a half hour long meeting with legislators of Poonch district including three MLAs and three MLCs, drawn from various political parties including PDP, National Conference, BJP and Congress, who resented that decisions taken in the DDB meetings, the former Chief Minister’s Public Outreach Programme and other such major forums, have merely become assurances and majority of them were not being implemented on ground.
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Some of the legislators told the Excelsior that the Governor said he would direct the Administrative Secretaries of all Departments, HoDs and Chief Engineers besides other concerned officers to visit the districts and assure that works approved in the DDBs and other such major institutions are not only executed but executed well in time and bottlenecks, if any, in their implementation are removed expeditiously.
“The Administrative Secretaries, HoDs, Chief Engineers and other concerned officers will be directed to take frequent tours to the districts to facilitate removal of hurdles in the developmental works and ensure timely execution of projects approved in the official forums,” some of the legislators quoted the Governor as having assured them in the meeting.
On way back to Srinagar from Poonch, the Governor’s helicopter returned from Pir Panjal ranges due to bad weather conditions. He then proceeded to Srinagar from Mughal road.
Besides the Governor, his Advisor BB Vyas, Principal Secretary Umang Narula, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma and district civil and police officials from Poonch were present in the meeting with the legislators, who included Shah Mohammad Tantray and Yashpal Sharma, both PDP, Javed Rana and Shehnaz Ganai, both National Conference, Pradeep Sharma, BJP and Choudhary Akram, Congress.
“The development works in entire Poonch district have been suffering, some for want of funds, others waiting for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) and many others without any reason,” some of the legislators said, adding this kind of treatment would erode authority of the institutions, which had approved the works.
Legislators also took up the issue of the people living along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district and sought increase in compensation for deaths in Pakistan shelling and firing and speedy construction of bunkers, ‘Seema Bhawans’ and relief for the people killed or injured in mine blasts. They said the people should be allowed to go up to some limited areas to work in their fields by the Army.
They said the Governor directed the administration to pace up the work on bunkers and ‘Seema Bhawans’ to ensure their timely completion for the help of border dwellers in the event of Pakistan shelling and firing. He directed for providing all possible facilities to the border people and said suggestions given by the legislators for welfare of the people living along the LoC will be taken up with the concerned authorities.
Some of the legislators stressed for deployment of Bullet-Proof ambulances in the border areas to evacuate the people in case of injuries in Pakistan shelling and firing.
On legislators’ demand for development of tourist areas in Poonch, Vohra assured them of positive response saying the Government was committed to develop tourism in all areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
Later, the Governor presided over an officers’ meeting of Poonch district and took up the issues raised by the legislators and got a feedback on development and other activities.
An official handout said:- Governor N N Vohra ordered the release of an additional Rs 6.5 crores for acceleration of ongoing development works in Poonch district. He ordered the Deputy Commissioner to conduct a Safety Audit of all bunds and protection works; Chief Engineer, PHE, to get a Performance Audit done of all Filtration Plants in the district and to get the quality of water being supplied through PHE schemes checked on weekly basis; release of Rs. 1.37 crores for completion of Phase-I of the Satellite Campus of Jammu University and for making this campus functional at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Vohra, undertook a road journey between Poonch and Shopian on the Mughal Road today afternoon to gain a first hand assessment about the maintenance of this prestigious road link between Rajouri- Poonch area and Kashmir valley.
The Governor also interacted with the local people along the road and certain visiting tourists and passengers at Peer ki Gali to know their experience of travelling on this road.
The Governor took serious note of the poor maintenance of the Mughal Road and directed the Public Works Department (PWD) to under -take a comprehensive Audit of Maintenance Expenditure in the past 3 years. He also sought an immediate report for the failure of repair and maintenance works.