Emphasises on harmony, tranquility
SRINAGAR, May 9: Terming peace pre-requisite for development, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Wednesday stressed the need on maintaining tranquillity and harmony in the State to help comprehensive progress on all fronts of socio-economic and political significance.
“I am time and again making it clear that political issues relating to Jammu and Kashmir require political addressing. Economic measures have their own importance but these cannot resolve matters of political dimensions”, he said, ‘adding that his Government is determined to carry forward development process with commitment and facilitate internal and external dialogue processes to ensure peace in the State.
Addressing a large public gathering at Mujgund near here, Omar Abdullah cautioned the people about the designs of vested interests who aim at disturbing peace and law and order situation in the State.
“These elements are bent upon to divide the people and disturb the peaceful situation in the State. You have to remain cautious about their attempts and foil their anti-peace designs”, he emphasized.
Omar Abdullah said that despite huge financial constraints his Government has enhanced salaries of Government employees from Rs. 6000 crores in 2008 to Rs. 11500 crores at present. “In addition to this Rs. 450 crores of arrears and additional DA instalments have already been provided to the Government employees”, he added questioning the reasonability and rationale behind the protests of employees when his Government has all along been employee-friendly.
The Chief Minister said that one can easily imagine the State of financial affairs of Jammu and Kashmir where the total annual income is Rs. 6500 crores by all sources and it has to incur Rs. 11500 crores on the salaries of Government employees and Rs. 2500 crores on payment of pension to retired Government employees besides bearing Rs. 2000 crores annual losses on supply of electricity.
Rejecting the propaganda by certain people regarding the development of Srinagar city, the Chief Minister said that holistic and equitable development of the State is benchmark of his Government. “Alongwith other areas, the Srinagar district has received equal focus on development front”, he said and substantiated his statement by giving facts and figures.
The Chief Minister said that during the last three years 10 new bridges have been sanctioned for Srinagar city including those at Dalgate, Mujgund, Zero bridge, Zainakadal, Vethapora, Palpora, Maulana Azad, Malru and Barbarshah involving an expenditure of about Rs. 97 crores. He said Jahangir Chowk Flyover has been approved at a cost of over Rs. 250 crores. He said works involving about Rs. 90 crores are being executed in Srinagar under ERA besides projects involving Rs. 122 crores launched for the development of roads, bridges and water supply schemes.
The Chief Minister said Rs. 38.14 crore Nagar Tourist Circuit in Shaher-i-Khas has already been taken in hand besides developing Chinar Bagh at Rs. 3.34 crores. He said 2000 youth of Srinagar city have been recruited under special recruitment drive by Police Department.
Omar Abdullah said that additional block of Lal Ded Hospital is under construction at Rs. 40 crores while new maternity hospital in Srinagar has been approved at a cost of Rs. 50 crores. He said SKIMS is being provided an amount of Rs. 720 crore for its expansion and upgradation besides upgrading and improving hospitals and health centres in Srinagar.
The Chief Minister said that in the Batmaloo Constituency in which Mujgund area is situated, about Rs. 70 crores have been spent on the development of roads in the year 2010-11 while the amount spent on this sector in 2011-12 has been Rs. 26.87 crores and this year Rs. 84 crores have been earmarked for the same. He said 202 kilometres of road length has been black topped and macadamized in Batmaloo Constituency during the last year.
The public meeting was also addressed by Minister of State for R&B Javid Ahmad Dar, MLA Batmaloo Assembly Constituency, Irfan Ahmad Shah and Provincial President, National Conference, Kashmir, Ali Mohammad Dar.
Minister of State for R&B presented resume of the achievements registered in the State during last three years in various sectors with special reference to R&B. He said the commitments made to people are being fulfilled one after one.
Irfan Shah highlighted the demands of the people of the area and requested for a degree college, a maternity hospital, a playfield, drain at Malru and special recruitment drive for the area besides other local demands.
Earlier, the Chief Minister formally inaugurated the 172 metre long double-lane Pre-Stressed Concrete (PSC) girder type Bridge consisting of four spans of 43 mtr over River Jehlum at Mujgund constructed at a cost of Rs. 12.20 crores.
The bridge will provide direct connectivity to National Highway (Srinagar-Bandipora) benefiting about 2 lakhs population residing in the areas of Palpora, Tangpora, Bakshipora, Chochan, Takun and other adjoining areas. This will also provide an alternative route to Srinagar to Ganderbal. It will also benefit to the inhabitants of areas in between Noorbagh and Sumbal.