SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti spent almost a complete day in Pulwama in meeting the people and most of the meetings with one to one meetings. Most of the people who met her had come in delegations from various areas of the district, informed sources said.
Officials said the Chief Minster reached the town around 11 am and directly drove to the Circuit House where people had already started gathering in the lawns where tents had been pitched. She was accompanied by the local lawmakers and the officials including her principle secretary.
PDP sources said the day was kept exclusively for interactions of the people with the Chief Minster. “It was part of the outreach and there were no speeches. The Chief Minister wanted to listen to the problems the people were facing and give directions,” one party leader said.
The party worker said that more than 50 delegations had meeting with the Chief Minster. “There were issued pertaining to all activities of life, there were issues related to agriculture, horticulture, heath and many other things,” the party source said. “She gave directions to the official on the spot.”
This, the party sources said, was part of the renewed outreach. “It will continue at other places as well,” he said.
He said various Auqaf’s, NGOs and trade of the area also met her. There were lot women who had meeting with the Chief Minister and there were students too, he said.
Authorities had made special security arrangements in the otherwise restive town by making additional deployments. No tensions were reported, so far.
Official Spokesman adds
An official spokesman Sunday evening detailed the day long visit of Chief Minister to Pulwama. He termed it “major public outreach initiative”.
During the grievance redressal camp, the Chief Minister heard people in a face to face interaction and in many cases issued on spot directions for the immediate settlement of their problems. She got an on spot appraisal of the development activities in Pulwama and Shopian districts and people brought their issues into her notice.
The Chief Minister heard and interacted with more than 100 deputations during a freewheeling interface till late in the evening. The deputations had come from different areas of these two districts which raised issues of road connectivity, drinking water facilities, rationalization of territorial distribution of villages, augmentation of health and educational infrastructure, development of tourism and completion of ongoing schemes.
Many deputations from Tral area who met the Chief Minister thanked her for giving developmental activities in the area a push. Besides they also thanked her for carving out the post of Additional Deputy Commissioner to monitor the development pace of Tral town.
These deputations also sought pacing up of restoration works at the Khanqah I Faiz Panah, completion of Tral-Nawdal, Tral-Dadsara and Wahab sahib roads besides augmentation of Arihal receiving station and other health and educational facilities. They also sought declaring Arihal village a backward area.
Several other deputations from various areas of Pulwama district demanded macdamization of Gangoo-Hanjikhilo road and construction of Gangoo bridge; filling up of vacancies in health centres; upgradation of Nyna hospital; improvement of Chakoora-Nellora and Chakoora-Malangpora roads; augmentation of power distribution in Grawa Batne village; availability of doctors and paramedics at the health centres of Rajpora; removal of encroachments from the Khuls of Kakapora; declaring Chandgam as a backward area; construction of bridge at Draj in Lajoora village; addressing the drinking water shortage in the villages of Dongripora and Reshipora; developing park at Nikus; upgradation of schools in Tahab village and other issues.
A deputation of members of Civil Society of Pulwama sought improvement in the facilities at the District Hospital, posting of lady police at the Railway stations for instilling confidence among female passengers, construction of a community hall and garbage disposal in the town.
The deputations from Shopian sought early start of work on the Bijbehara-Shopian road; setting up of a PHE sub division at Wachi; developing playfield at Zainapora; fencing and uninterrupted power supply to local Ziyarat; augmentation of facilities at the health centres at Nadigam, Zawoora Karewa, Kapran and Gatipora; improvement of Kellar-Dunaroo, Shopian-Kellar, Panzgam-Reshipora roads besides development of tourism facilities in the town.
The Chief Minister listened to the grievances of the people patiently and in many cases issued on spot directions of their redressal. She directed the administration to look into the problems flagged by people today sympathetically for a time bound redressal.
During her day-long interaction with scores of delegations here today, the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti outlined a comprehensive roadmap for the holistic development of Pulwama town and other areas of the district.
Mehbooba said the thrust of the existing and new developmental initiatives sketched out for the district includes augmentation of connectivity, administrative infrastructure, healthcare facilities, educational infrastructure, power, irrigation and horticulture.
She said in addition to around 30 road and bridge projects costing Rs 190 crore under execution in the district, some new roads are proposed to be taken up to improve connectivity in and around the district and decongest the town.
The Chief Minister said that the new road projects include extension of the present Ring Road to connect with Pulwama-Newa-Srinagar Road as part of Highway-444. “This will help in diverting all the traffic from Shopian and Mughal Road and other areas to Srinagar without passing through the Main Town,” she said and added that upgradation of Pulwama-Srinagar road via Newa, which is of late witnessing huge traffic rush, is also proposed to be taken up soon.
She said widening of existing alternate road from SP Office Pulwama to T-Point on Pulwama-Rajpora road, to divert the traffic to Rajpora, Drubgam, Shadimarg, Kellar via this road from New Bus Stand, has also been proposed. “This will help decongest the traffic passing through Main Town and DPR for Rs 2 crore already stands formulated in this regard,” she said and added that widening of road from Rohmu to Chadoora and from Inder to Pinglena is also proposed.
Regarding decongestion of Pulwama town, Mehbooba said additional Administrative-cum-Residential Complex will be constructed in District Industries Centre (DIC) complex opposite DC Office to house around 25 district offices which are presently scattered throughout the town and mostly housed in rented buildings.
She said a new Engineering Complex would be also constructed at the existing R&B Complex so that all the Engineering Departments including R&B, PHE, Electrical, Mechanical etc can operate from a single location.
Mehbooba said the Tehsil Offices will be shifted from Malikpora to Old Court Complex near DC Office and a Community Hall and Public Park will be constructed at the site of present Tehsil Office for the facility of the locals.
She said a separate Maternity Hospital and doctors’ residential quarters will be constructed in Old Hospital Complex presently housing CMO’s office. “Proposal has been also formulated for upgradation of District Hospital Pulwama and construction of Registration-cum-Reception Hall and Attendant Hall with Canteen will be taken up soon,” she said and added that a multi-storey Official Residences Complex will be constructed for officers on the 5 kanals of land presently under the official residences of ACR and Tehsildar Pulwama.
Mehbooba said out of around 1500 kanals of state land available at Chandgam Karewa, some portion will be utilized for construction of a Kendriya Vidyalya and a residential school for girls while a state-of-the-art sports facility would be developed on the remaining land.
Regarding AIIMS Awantipora, Mehbooba said since the actual commissioning of the Institute is likely to take some time, the Govt will push for setting up of make shift polyclinics for various specialities for which doctors would be brought on rotational basis from various premiere health institutions.
The Chief Minister said that a Juvenile Home will be constructed on the land available near Town Hall opposite SP Office Pulwama. The land is presently being used for dumping of garbage.
Regarding development of Mega Terminal Market for fruit at Aglar, the Chief Minister said that the fruit market will be spread over 260 kanals of land for which funds have been arranged under PMDP. She said additional 50 kanals of land are being acquired for further extension of Fruit Mandi at Prichoo, Pulwama. “Similarly, 15 kanals of land have been acquired for extension of Fruit Mandi at Pachhaar,” she said and added that a Pesticide and Soil Testing Laboratory is also proposed to be established in Pulwama.
Under irrigation sector, the Chief Minister said that a project will be formulated for mega irrigation scheme for a large area of Chandgam-Tahab-Koil Karewa which is a long pending demand of the people. She said the PHE Department has been asked to complete augmentation of Water Supply Schemes in Pulwama, Tral and Awantipora by ending this year.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said the issue is not of availability of resources but the capacity to spend the money allocated to for developmental projects. “We shall have to develop adequate capacity at the administrative level to expedite execution of developmental works,” she said and added that peace and stability is important to ensure development at the grassroots level.
Mehbooba said Pulwama has suffered a lot economically and educationally due to disturbances and the time has come to rebuild the area with focussed attention.
District Development Commissioner Pulwama briefed the Chief Minister in detail about the progress of various projects in the district.