Kargil, Leh selected for Smart City assistance: LG Mathur

LG Ladakh R K Mathur addressing press conference.
LG Ladakh R K Mathur addressing press conference.

UT Sectt, Police Hqrs, Raj Niwas to come up at Kurbathang

Excelsior Correspondent

KARGIL, Oct 24: Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh Radha Krishna Mathur today said that Kargil and Leh have been selected for Smart City assistance.
Addressing a press conference here, the Lieutenant Governor said that on the directions of Prime Minister and efforts of UT administration Kargil and Leh have been selected for Smart City assistance in addition to 100 Smart Cities selected earlier on competition basis.
“A team from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is presently on visit to Ladakh and has held various consultative meetings with different stakeholders including the CEC, LAHDC, Kargil”, he said, adding “Smart City would be approved on the basis of the team’s report”.
Reiterating the commitment of the UT Administration towards the equitable development of Ladakh, the LG said that all efforts are being made to expend the additional funds from the Central Government in a judicious and comprehensive manner. “Meetings have also been held with the LAHDC, Kargil in this regard and all due consideration has been given towards solving its problems and issues”, he added.
He further said that collective efforts will be made by the UT Administration and the Hill Councils to expend the allotted budget to the maximum possible despite limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said that preparations will be made this winter to execute maximum number of works during the next season.
The LG further informed that a UT Level Planning Board has also been constituted with experts from different fields whose suggestions would be sought and effort will be made to promulgate the Vision 2050 within the next 2 months with support and opinions from all stakeholders.
The emphasis of the Vision 2050 would be on more practical and workable projects, the LG stated and said that equitable and area specific development of both districts have been accorded top priority.
Regarding the status of expansion of Kargil Airport, the LG informed that the airport expansion is subject to the technical parameters and approval of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Airports Authority of India (AAI). “On their advice the UT Administration has approached the International Civil Aviation Organization, Montreal for consultancy”, he said, adding “matter is being seriously pursued with the agency to come up with their technical opinion”.
“UT Administration is fully committed to establish an airport suitable enough for landing of wide bodied airplanes in Kargil and in case of such planes not found to be technically suitable to operate on the existing airstrip, an alternate airport will be constructed at an appropriate location in the district”, he informed.
Regarding the promotion and other related issues of the employees of Ladakh UT, the LG said that the first step towards resolution of all such matters is the formal division of staff between J&K and Ladakh. “A final meeting in this regard has been held recently. Appropriate decisions to address all such issues pertaining to employees would be taken after the formal transfer of all staff to Ladakh UT and issuance of orders from MHA and J&K Government in this regard”, he added.
Regarding the establishment of UT Headquarters in Kargil, the LG informed that the UT Administration intends to establish a UT Secretariat, Police Headquarters and Raj Niwas at Kurbathang after an agreement with the Army pertaining to land, for which discussions have already begun.
Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor LAHDC Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan, Deputy Commissioner and CEO, LAHDC, Kargil Baseer ul Haq Choudhary, SSP Kargil Dr Vinod Kumar besides other concerned officers were present on the occasion.