SRINAGAR, May 30: Following the footsteps of his grandfather Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today chaired a Cabinet meeting at Tangdhar village near the Line of Control as part of his efforts to reach out to the remotest corners of the State.
“Under the innovative initiative to take the Government to the door steps of the people, address their difficulties and focus on area specific development needs, the Chief Minister chaired the State Cabinet meeting at Tangdar (Karnah), the remotest area in Northern Kashmir situated near the Line of Control,” an official spokesman said.
National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah during his tenure as the Chief Minister of the State used to hold Cabinet-cum-district board meetings at district headquarters, but this is for the first time a Cabinet meeting has been held so close to the LoC.
Omar, drove to Tangdhar – 184 kms from here – last evening while his Cabinet colleagues arrived in the remote area this morning through choppers.
The Chief Minister reviewed the status of development of Karnah Tehsil at a high-level officers meeting this morning, the spokesman said.
He met various deputations of the people, interacted with village heads and also received scores of individuals who brought to his notice their personal problems.
The Chief Minister received the sector-wise appraisal of development schemes under implementation in Tangdhar and Teetwal blocks constituting Karnah Tehsil, he said.
In the meeting, Omar granted Rs 1 crore additional funds for the completion of school buildings damaged in 2005 earthquake. The Chief Minister also sanctioned another Rs 1 crore for Sub-District Hospital Tangdar and fixed September 2012 as the deadline for its completion.
Abdullah also directed to constitute a committee headed by the Chief Secretary to finalise the modus operandi for fast-track filling up of vacancies in health and education sectors in Karnah Tehsil.
He directed the District Development Commissioner Kupwara to immediately identify land for construction of staff quarters for the Government employees serving in area.
The Chief Minister also interacted with sarpanchs and panchs of Karnah Tehsil and apprised them of services transferred by the Government to them to empower them for undertaking various development works and formulating plans for the people in the areas they represent.
Local MLA Kafil-ul-Rehman was accompanying the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister was apprised that 53 road schemes at a cost of over Rs 36 crore are presently under execution in Karnah Tehsil.
He was informed that a comprehensive programme for road developments is being implemented to connect the remote and cut off areas.
Later, Omar visited Teetwal, the last village near the LoC, and interacted with villagers there.
The Chief Minister also inspected the development projects in the area.
During his interaction with the villagers, Omar enquired about basic amenities being provided to them by the State Government in various sectors, the spokesman said.
Omar said he would take up the upgradation and improvement of Tangdar-Teetwal road, presently under the supervision and execution of Border Roads Organisation, “at the highest level with the central Government”.
The Chief Minister met various deputations in Teetwal and Tangdar. These included a deputation from Gujjars led by A. R. Badana, a deputation from Keran led by Nasir Khan, a deputation of Auqaf Committee, a deputation of Sarpanchs and Panchs led by Sheikh Ghulam Hassan, a deputation of local Congress Committee, a deputation of transporters, a deputation of traders, a deputation of ousted employees, a deputation of Bar Association, Tangdar led by Javid Ahmad, a deputation of casual labours, etc.
The Chief Minister gave patient hearing and said that the issues brought to his notice by these deputation would be given due consideration.
Talking to people near LoC in Teetwal, Omar listed the measures taken by the Government during last over three years to ensure holistic development of all areas of the State. He said inclusive development with focused attention on remote areas has been underlined as an important concern in the development policy of the Government.
He said transfer of power and authority from secretariat to village level and involve people in decision making is his endeavour. He said that establishment of Panchayat Raj, enactment of Public Service Guarantee Act, Right to Information Act and other measures taken in this direction are showing visible results on ground.