Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Wednesday took a firsthand feedback on the progress achieved on various ongoing developmental projects in the summer capital in health, housing, culture and I&FC sectors. He also inspected the under-construction SPS Museum, near Lal Mandi.
The Chief Minister also gave directions for throwing open for traffic the newly-renovated old Habba Kadal bridge, keeping in view the heavy rush of people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
The review of developmental projects is an ongoing process with the Chief Minister personally inspecting various sites and setting deadlines, in both the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.
Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister of State for H&UDD and I&C, Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Minister for Health & Social Welfare, Asiea Naqash accompanied the Chief Minister.
Asserting that access to advanced healthcare sector will remain Government’s top priority, the Chief Minister fixed a deadline of two years for expansion of SKIMS Medical Hospital at Bemina, for which Rs.150 crore have already been allocated. The project envisages construction of a new block with additional bed capacity of 250 to be able to bear the ever-increasing patient load on the hospital. Besides new laboratories, the project will also cover construction of a new lecture hall and a hostel for SKIMS Medical College, so as to meet the norms fixed by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
With bed capacity of 230, SKIMS Hospital at Bemina is adequately staffed. The intake capacity of MBBS students at the College has been enhanced to 100 while as the paramedic staff is sourced from SKIMS’ Nursing College, whose intake capacity has also been increased to 100, the Chief Minister was told.
The Chief Minister gave directions for proper landscaping of the sprawling hospital lawns, which, he said will add to the ambiance of the hospital premises.
Mufti Sayeed also inspected the work on under-construction maternity hospital at Bemina where he fixed June 2017 deadline for construction of two additional floors, which will be dedicated to paediatric care, till the Government constructs an independent paediatric hospital in close proximity of the Lal Ded Maternity Hospital. He also visited the G. B. Panth Hospital at Sonwar, where he interacted with the people and took review of the facilities being extended to them.
On his arrival at Rakh-e-Arth Colony being developed for Dal dwellers, Vice Chairman, LAWDA, informed the Chief Minister that around 1700, out of 4600 plots in the first phase, have been completed and allotted to the families shifting out of the Dal Lake. As many as 250 houses have been constructed on 7-marla plots provided to the relocated families.
The Chief Minister gave directions for firming up a comprehensive plan for providing all facilities which are essentially required in a model housing colony, including schools, healthcare, banking and parking facilities. He also asked the VC to devise a policy that secures livelihood of those families which depended on the lake and are shifting out to Rakh-e-Arth Colony.
On the instructions of the Chief Minister given in the last review meeting of LAWDA, the work on the project has been fast-tracked with I&FC Department providing access on river Jhelum to LAWDA for dredging and lifting of the material, which has resulted in 5600 tipper trips to earth-fill the land in the colony.
Built over an area of 7526 kanals, the work on the Rakh-e-Arth Housing Colony will be completed in three phases, at a cost of Rs.416 crore, out of which Rs. 325 crore are being funded under the state sector, with 90.90 crore being provided under Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP), part of the flagship JnNURM project. Each relocated family is being provided Rs.1.05 lakh for construction of his house.
The Chief Minister also gave instructions to explore the possibility of making rehabilitation of Dal dwellers part of the Dal Conservation Plan, for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs.298 crore.
Earlier, the Chief Minister arrived at Raj Bagh, where he was briefed about the restoration work of the 154-Metre Old Zero Bridge, being undertaken by the Public Works Department. Meant for light motor vehicles only, he stressed upon conserving the heritage value of the bridge and asked for completion of work within the stipulated timeline. Around 72 per cent of the work on the project has been completed, the Chief Minister was informed.
Mufti Sayeed was also briefed about the progress of work on the upcoming bridge near Presentation Convent School, as well as the renovation of the Tagore Hall.
On the issue of strengthening and beautification of Jhelum banks, the Chief Minister directed Chief Engineer I&FC to speed up ongoing works right from Zero Bridge to Veer, with special focus on banks on Old Assembly and Hanuman Mandir side. The Chief Minister also obtained firsthand appraisal about the ongoing works on dredging of riverbeds and fortification of the embankments. He also asked CE I&FC to landscape the parks alongside the banks, in particular Jhelum Park, for recreation of the people.
At SPS Museum, the Chief Minister expressed concern over the slow pace of work on the project. He instructed Principal Secretary to ensure that the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums and the Police Housing Corporation, the executing agency, work with greater synergy to complete the project well in time. The new instructions were given in the backdrop of timelines fixed by the Chief Minister during his earlier visit here.
Mufti Sayeed also gave strict directions for landscaping the unkempt lawns appurtenant to the Museum so that natural ambiance of the place is appropriately reflected. He also asked Director AA&M to ensure that the numismatics, artifacts and other objects, including the ones which had been salvaged during the devastating floods of 2014 are properly displayed.
Also accompanying the Chief Minister were MLA Batmaloo, Noor Mohammad, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner / Secretary Health & Medical Education, Dr. M. K. Bhandari, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon, Director General, Information & PR, Zaffar Ahmad, VC LAWDA, Sarmad Hafeez, Director Health Services, Kashmir, Dr. Samir Mattoo, Chief Engineer, R&B, Kashmir, Satish Razdan, Chief Engineer, I&FC, Javed Jaffar, MD, JKPCC, Hameed Sheikh, MD PHC, Dilbagh Singh, Secretary to Chief Minister, M. H. Malik, Deputy Commissioner, Budgam, Mir Altaf, Director Archives, Archaeology & Museums, M. S. Zahid, ADDC, Srinagar, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, Principal GMC, Rafiq Pampori, besides several other senior officers of the concerned departments.