Describing Srinagar as a historic centre of authority and influence, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Thursday promised to build a new summer capital by integrating modern elements into the city’s rich heritage.
“Srinagar is the heart of the state and we need to appreciate its centrality. We also need to improve its fundamentals by working on core sectors like connectivity, businesses, transport, water and drainage systems,” he added.
The Chief Minister was speaking after laying foundation stones of new Mehjoor Bridge at Jawahar Nagar and Kissan Ghar at Raj Bagh, here this morning.
Mufti said they have decided to build one satellite township in the Srinagar so that a poor man could get a roof above his head to live his life.
He compared Srinagar with heart using the anecdote Jab Dil theek ho toh jism theek hai, “In the same way our government considers Srinagar to be the heart of the state.”
“Even when I took over as CM in 2002, he said, I paid due attention towards the roads of the Srinagar.” “The most attention I have paid is on the roads of the Srinagar than all those roads that I have driven through. In this tenure, 225 kms have been macadamized in City till date.
The new Mehjoor Nagar Bridge is going to be build at the cost of Rs 18 crore by Economic Reconstruction Agency till December 2016. It lies 180 meteres ahead of old “unsafe” bridge which was declared in 2005.
“I have stayed in Srinagar, Barbarshah, during my college time. I observed multi families within a single house. What is the way out from this mess? Those who have been bestowed wealth do make new houses though in an unorganized way. So we have decided to make one satellite township even if initially only one lakh families shift there, it would reduce burden on the city,” he said.
He compared the satellite township with a “smart mini-city” and said, “I want that a poor man should shift there, not rich, who can’t afford to build his own house.”
The CM asserted that they have drafted a comprehensive plan to save the valley from the flood like situation again. “It is to construct flood channels, need to strengthen river embankments and small nallahs have to be cleaned.”
He termed the last flood was matchless. “The person who had never imagined his house would be flooded was the most vulnerable victim. There has been a huge devastation and loss to the infrastructure. Hardly people had insured their property.”
About tourism the CM said that Srinagar is a world known destination where people from all corners of the globe arrive. “So we are paying a special care about the patch of Boulevard to Shalimar which will be turned 4 lane soon. On that road, a special footpath would be also made out along with a cycle track on the route.”
Narrating the incident when he stayed in the Berlin hotel along with her granddaughter, Sana and wife. “At 10 o’clock my granddaughter told me she was going for a cycle walk. I was sitting in a park overseeing hundreds of people cycling through.”
We need to enhance our bedding capacity in the Srinagar, he said. “Recently, I asked the department about same. They replied we have 12000 bedding in guest houses and houseboats. In total we have 40000 capacity here. But that is not enough. I will try to divert more and more tourists towards houses in areas like Rajbagh and surroundings so that the people there could get their employment from this source.”
The CM said that during militancy the employment was shaken considerably. “But I echo everywhere that our people carved out their livelihood by their talents of handicrafts. Few worked on kaleen, paper machie and wood carving. I met Modi ji. He is very fond of skill development. Our skill is Kaleen. But the weaver after working from the morning though evening, hardly earns Rs 400.”
All eyes went surprising when he said, “To keep this skill alive, why can’t a teacher perform this art in his part time after school hours in the evening.”
“Earlier we used to travel up to Ganderbal in Dongas but now the condition is bad. I am determined to shift those who live there in the Dal to Rakhi Arth. I know they don’t live there with satisfaction (wo sukoon sey nai rehtey waha). I will help their 8000 families to live better life outside which is a wonderful place, “he hinted for speedy shifting of Dal dwellers.