To bring about rapid growth of the two capital cities in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today mooted separate development plans for Srinagar and Jammu districts keeping in view the requirement for additional funds.
“Due to the rising population of capital cities and the corresponding requirement of better amenities, delinking Srinagar and Jammu from District Plan funding pattern will go a long way in addressing the concerns of the people,” Mehbooba said chairing the District Development Board (DDB) meeting of Srinagar at SKICC here.
She directed Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu to devise a mechanism for conceiving separate development plans by taking into consideration the specific needs and demands of both the capital cities.
Described Srinagar as the heart of the Valley, the chief minister assured time-bound development of the summer capital which received a major setback in the 2014 floods.
“There is a need to shift to Capital City Plans as funding under District Plans has largely been incommensurate with the rapidly-expanding boundaries of Srinagar and Jammu cities,” she observed.
After deliberating for nearly six hours, the DDB headed by the Chief Minister, approved an Annual CAPEX Budget of Rs 100.29 crore for 2016-17.
In her maiden address as Chairman of DDB Srinagar, she said the summer capital would continue to receive focused attention vis-a-vis proper sewerage and drainage network, restoration of encroached public spaces to decongest city centre, improving connectivity by upgradation of roads, fortifying embankments and dredging of Jhelum river so that the destruction inflicted by 2014 floods is not repeated.
Asking legislators to approach her in case of any delay in completion of projects, Mehbooba said she is carrying forward the roadmap which former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had sketched for development of Srinagar.
During the board meeting, legislators, cutting across party lines, had unanimously raised the issue of much-lower CAPEX Budget allocation for a big district like Srinagar, as compared to most of the other districts in the state which have a far greater allocation.
Calling for complete synergy between various departments involved in infrastructure building and implementation of various welfare schemes, Mehbooba said she has ordered strict adherence to timelines for completion of all ongoing projects.