PCI Member in J&K to assess progress on PMRP, other major infra projects

*Inspects work on Dal Conservation, Baglihar Stage-II

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 22: In order to assess ground situation vis-à-vis implementation of the major infrastructure projects being funded under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) and other Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Planning Commission of India (PCI) Member, B K Chaturvedi is on four-day visit to the State. He will submit a report to the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia highlighting the assistance required by the State in various areas under schemes of Central Ministries.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that B K Chaturvedi, who looks after the Jammu and Kashmir State in the Planning Commission and plays key role in projecting the requirements of the State in various sectors, arrived here yesterday to evaluate the progress made by the State Government in implementation of the projects sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme, other Centrally Sponsored Schemes and special components.
On first day of his visit, the Planning Commissioner Member accompanied by Principal Secretary Planning and Development Department, B R Sharma inspected ongoing work on conservation of Dal Lake, which is a Central Sector project being executed by the State agencies, sources said.  Besides conservation work, he also had a detailed assessment of the progress made on the rehabilitation of Dal dwellers.
Mr Chaturvedi also inspected work on the additional 200-bed block of Lal Ded Hospital. The block has already been constructed and at present finishing work was going on. Today, he inspected the work on Stage-II of the Baglihar Hydroelectric Project on river Chenab at Chanderkote in Ramban district. For the Stage-II of Baglihar, which will also generate 450 Mega Watts of electricity, the State Government has sought grant-in-aid from the Planning Commission on the pattern of Stage-I, sources said.
Tomorrow, the Planning Commission member will visit Mughal Road, which connects Rajouri-Poonch districts of Jammu region with the Shopian district of Kashmir valley and is an alternate to Jammu-Srinagar National Highway 1A. He is also scheduled to inspect some major roads and bridges projects in Shopian and visit Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) tomorrow.
Talking to EXCELSIOR on telephone from Srinagar soon after inspecting work on Baglihar Stage-II, the Planning Commission of India Member said, “the purpose of my visit is to assess the progress made by the State Government in implementing the projects under PMRP as well as other mega projects funded under different schemes. Moreover, Planning Commission wants to ascertain the actual requirements of the State particularly in the vital sectors like power where Jammu and Kashmir has huge potential”.
In response to a question, he said, “the financial support to any State from the Union Government doesn’t end at the Annual Plan. There are over Rs 30,000 crore worth Central Schemes of different Central Ministries and financial assistance can also be provided under the same”, adding “the purpose of my visit is also to ascertain as to under which Centrally Sponsored Schemes we can extend more support to Jammu and Kashmir”.
“As far as Baglihar and Mughal Road projects are concerned, the State Government has already projected the requirement of financial assistance and I will give feedback to the Planning Commission in this regard on the basis of ground situation”, he said, adding “though major work on the Mughal Road has been completed yet State needs some help to complete some left over works. Moreover, there is also a demand from the J&K Government for funding construction of some vital tunnels and I will have detailed discussion with the project executing agency in this regard during detailed inspection of this road tomorrow”.
Responding to another question, Mr Chaturvedi said, “I am satisfied with the conservation work of Dal Lake. The concerned authorities have been taking keen interest in its conservation and rehabilitation of Dal dwellers”, adding “even the independent assessment of the conservation work highlights encouraging picture”.
He said that Jammu and Kashmir requires much help from the Union Government in the power sector so that available potential could be tapped and helps the State in improving its economic condition.

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