Omar reaffirms commitment for transparent, accountable governance


    SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday reaffirmed his government’s commitment to transparent and accountable governance asking the administration to make e-tendering and e-procurement a rule in the functioning rather than exception.

    “You should follow e-tendering and e-procurement as a rule rather than exception”, he told the administration stressing on bringing all departments under this system. He also emphasized third party monitoring of projects in all the departments adding that besides physical and financial aspects, formulation of DPRs should also be brought under the purview of third party monitoring to check over-inflation.
    While giving directions for time bound service delivery and completion of works, the Chief Minister said that three more departments have been brought under Public Service Guarantee Act to expand its ambit and bring more services under the Act for time bound delivery.
    The Chief Minister approved Rs. 59.80 crores Annual Plan for Srinagar district for the year 2012-13 and gave nod to the allocations available at last year’s level under special area development programme at Srinagar District Development Board meeting he chaired here today.
    As a result of this decision, the overall availability of resources to Srinagar district for the development purposes will be maintained at the level of the last year.
    The Legislators and the Members of the District Development Board, Srinagar thanked the Chief Minister for maintaining last year’s resource availability to the district for the current fiscal for development programmes.
    The Chief Minister said that further additionality wherever required would be considered during the review of the plan expenditures in November-December this year.
    Omar Abdullah said that development of Srinagar and Jammu cities, for being the Capitals of the State, require focused attention for holistic development “Government is fully aware of this need and measures are afoot in this direction”, he said.
    The Chief Minister said that the recommendations of Finance Commission for enhancing Srinagar district plan size and the recommendations of Planning Board being constituted by the government will be factored in the formulation of comprehensive and up to the mark district development plan for Srinagar to address the development needs.
    Citing special areas of focus in the development process, Omar Abdullah said that establishment of community halls, land acquisition for projects, improvement to health institutions including G. B. Panth Hospital and setting up two new maternity hospitals, upgradation of general drainage system, Dal development, development of garbage dumping sites at Achen, widening of Panthchowk to decongest traffic, Reconstruction of Dastigeer Sahib (RA) Shrine, development of artisan clusters, construction of bridges, widening of roads, macadamization, improvement in water supply, street lighting and better delivery on public service are areas of special attention.
    Omar Abdullah said that a by-pass road project from Pampore to Rambagh is being implemented to ease the traffic congestion in Panthachowk area. He said he has already released Rs. One crore for this project last year and “I announce another Rs. One crore for it today”, he said and added that a comprehensive decongestion scheme is being worked out with the National Highways Authorities. “I am personally monitoring the 4-laning of National Highway project on regular basis and this issue has been discussed with the Authority. I hope necessary action will be taken by the Authority in this regard”, he maintained.
    Omar Abdullah said that during the current year two important bridges at Padshahi Bagh and Saidpora will be completed by the ERA while work on Jahangir Chowk Flyover will start from November-December this year. He said Rawalpora, Channapora, Tengpora, Alochibagh and various adjacent areas will be brought under drainage improvement programme under ADB. He said a project is being launched in this regard this year. He said 175 kilometers of road are being macadamized in the Srinagar district this year of which 107 have been completed so far. He said that he has released Rs. 5 crores for the repairs to the road cuts made by NBCC and UEED departments for laying drainage pipes.
    The Chief Minister said that the government has formulated a comprehensive transport mobility project for Srinagar city by RITES and the report in this regard has been received. “The project involves Rs. 23000 crores and covers requirements up to the year 2031. We are working to project the requirement of funds before the Union Government in this regard”, he said adding that Housing and Urban Development Department has been asked to identify the essential components earmarked in the report that could be taken in hand for implementation by the State Government.
    While expressing gratitude to the Union Government for granting highest ever Plan size to the Jammu and Kashmir for 2012-13, the Chief Minister said that the State will have financial availability of Rs. 8000 crore for the current year which includes Rs. 7300 crore Annual Plan and Rs. 700 crore PMRP. He emphasized the need for mobilizing State’s own resources to be able to meet the growing demand for capital expenditure. “We need funds for hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, power, water supply, irrigation, agriculture and allied sectors as such we have to generate our own resources for this purpose. This would enable us to have substantial funds available as free component to spent as per our priorities and in accordance with the needs of the people in different areas”, he added and cited the example of Rs. 2200 crore annual losses on supply of electricity. He said this amount could be utilized to address many development problems.
    Addressing the meeting, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah who is also Parliament Member from Srinagar announced Rs. 10 lakh each from his Parliament Member’s Constituency Fund for all legislators of Srinagar district for taking up smaller works in their Assembly Constituencies.
    Dr. Farooq asked the State Government to formulate projects for solar water heating systems in the government departments like health, home, etc. for which the Central Government would provide 90 percent assistance. He said that individuals willing to install solar water heating systems in their houses for domestic purpose would get these on subsidy. “The MNRE will provide 7 percent subsidy on the interest on the loan an individual takes from the bank for installation of such heaters”, he said adding that adoption of new and renewable energy means would relieve the pressure on hydro electricity.
    The Union Minister said that State has good number of streams, brooks and nallahs on which smaller hydro projects up to 25 MWs would be sanctioned and financed by the MNRE on 90:10 ratio.
    The meeting was attended by Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul, Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani, Vice Chairmen of Advisory Boards, M. A. Bukhari, B. A. Naaz, Rachpal Singh, Kuldeep Verma and Shamima Firdous and Legislators, Dr. Mustafa Kamal, Mohammad Yasin Shah, Peer Afaq Ahmad, Irfan Ahmad Shah, Dharam Veer Singh Oberoi and Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary Planning, B. B. Vyas, various Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Samoon, Heads of the Departments and District Development Commissioner and district officers.
    The Chief Minister appreciated the District Development Commissioner, Srinagar and his team for achieving 99 percent performance on plan expenditures during the last year.
    In a PowerPoint presentation, District Development Commissioner, Basheer Ahmad Khan presented detailed account of performance registered in the district under various development programmes in various development sectors. He said that 99 percent achievement has been registered under the district plan during last year.
    He gave overview of the works under execution in the district at present identified areas requiring additional funds. He said 14 bridges involving about Rs. 120 crores, 13 hospitals costing Rs. 212 crore, 14 school buildings at a cost of Rs. 22 crores and other infrastructure development works worth Rs. 266 crore were under execution in the district. He said 75 schemes estimating Rs. 737.76 crore have been taken up for execution by JKPCC in the district. He said an amount of Rs. 389.73 crores has been released for these works and Rs. 337.53 crores stand incurred on these so far. He said 18 works have been completed so far and the work on others is going on.
    Basheer Khan mentioned development projects of JLNM Hospital, Rainawari being executed at a cost of Rs. 57.67 crore, SMHS Hospital Sarai costing about Rs. 5 crore, SMHS quarters involving Rs. 5 crore, Boys Hostel for Dental College, Bemina costing Rs. 10.70 crore, Dental College, Srinagar involving Rs. 43.80 crore, Girls Hostel at Dental College, Shereen Bagh estimating Rs. 8.88 crores, infrastructure development for Medical College at Bemina at Rs. 8.35 crore, infrastructure development at L. D. Hospital Srinagar at Rs. 40.25 crores, Psychiatric Hospital at Raniawari costing Rs. 2.42 crore, Data Centre at Bemina involving Rs. 5.28 crore, Sports facilities at Rajbag at a cost of Rs. 18.91 crore, Palpora Foot Bridge costing over Rs. 3 crore, Rehabilitation and Repair of Old Zainakadal Bridge at a cost of Rs. 2.50 crore, Bridges at Malroo costing Rs. 16.21 crore, Foot Bridge at Takenwari involving Rs. 3.21 crore, Dal Gate Bridge Phase-II costing Rs. 13.38 crore, Widening of M.A. Bridge at a cost of Rs. 2.50 crore, construction of Sopping Complex at Jahangir Chowk at a cost of Rs. 48.93 crore, SPS Central Library estimating Rs. 17.34 crore, Administration Block High Court Srinagar at a cost of Rs. 1.26 crore, Judicial Academy at Srinagar at Rs. 53 crore, Lawyer’s Chamber at Rs. 11.10 crore, etc. and presented their status in detail.
    The Legislators in their speeches highlighted the areas requiring additional attention for faster development and mitigation of public difficulties.(KMW NEWS)


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