PDP-BJP alliance formed to empower people of J-K: Sayeed

PDP-BJP alliance formed to empower people of J-K SayeedJAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed today said the purpose of the alliance between PDP and BJP in the state is to empower the people and to take confidence building measures within and across the Line of Control (LoC) to ensure lasting peace.

“We want to create an enabling environment for all-round economic development of the state,” he said.

Spelling out the reason for forging an alliance with the BJP in the state to give a representative government to the people after holding wide consultations, Sayeed reminded the Leader of the Opposition, Omar Abdullah, of his days as a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.

Stating that his government has accorded top priority to reconstruct the flood-ravaged infrastructure and rehabilitate those people who lost everything to the September flood fury, Sayeed said all affected people, especially small-time businessmen who had no security of insurance, shall be provided relief.

“I have constituted a committee to be headed by the finance minister which will expedite rehabilitation and disbursement of relief to the flood victims,” he said.

The CM said so far the Union government has released Rs 1,000 crore under “Prime Minister’s Package for Floods” for restoration of damage to public assets over and above around Rs 1,100 crore already available with the state government under NDRF for emergency relief and temporary restoration. An amount of Rs 820 crore, he said, stands spent under SDRF.

“The work on commencement of permanent restoration has already begun. We are separately pursuing the release of a special package that would cater to the requirements of the affected people,” he said. .
Flagging the issue of empowering the panchayats, corporations and municipalities in the state, the chief minister hailed Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah for introducing the concept of Single Line Administration where the entire Cabinet would go to the people to address their issues on-the-spot.

“I was so pleased when former chief minister of Karnataka R K Hegde replicated the same concept for micro-level management in his own state,” he said.

The CM said he has in mind an idea of smart governance that coalesces e-Governance, adheres to Public Services Guarantee Act (PGSA), the Right to Information Act (RTI), Transparent Transfer Policy, which has security of tenure, prevention of corruption in administration and fair disposal in filling up of vacancies and regularization of employees so that the faith of the people in government institutions is restored.

He said the government has already started the process of identifying and giving responsible positions to the officers in the administration who have impeccable credentials.

Referring to the development of tourism sector, the chief minister said the state is a known tourist place throughout the world.

In order to develop J-K as a high-end tourist destination, “we have a specific plan for addressing the tourism concerns of all the three regions of the state”.

He said all lands other than those given to the security forces on the basis of lease, licenses and acquisition in which due process of law has not been followed, shall be returned to the rightful owners.
“Except in a situation where retaining the lands is absolutely imperative in view of specific security requirement,” he said.

Sayeed said in any case, monetary remuneration, be it in the form of rents or compensation, will be made fairly at market rates.

The CM said his government will provide greater autonomy to institutions like State Accountability Commission and the State Vigilance Commission to bring in proactive, accountable and transparent government.

He said his government will explore the possibility of working out modalities for transferring the Dulhasti and Uri Hydro Power Projects to J-K.

The chief minister said the Rangarajan Committee and the Round Table Committee Reports recommendations will be implemented for making J-K self-reliant in the power sector.

He said the state will also request the Union government for allocating a dedicated coal mine in Madhya Pradesh to J-K with coal reserves of not less than 150 MMT for setting up a pit-head thermal plant with equity support from Centre.

Mufti expressed concern over slow pace of work on four-laning of National Highway.

“It is very painful to see that we have not been able to provide hassle free and all weather national highway between Jammu and Srinagar even so many decades after independence,” he said.

“A light rain or snowfall closes the road for days together. This government shall put four-laning of National Highway on highest priority,” he said and added that construction of tunnel on Mughal Road shall also be taken up on priority.

The Chief Minister also stated that a dedicated rail link between Jammu and Srinagar and other parts of the state will be taken up with the Centre.

“The Kashmir Valley is yet to be connected with the rest of the country by means of a railway track. The pace of work on the rail connectivity on the stretch between Katra and Banihal needs to be geared up by so that this cheap mode of transport is offered to the people of the state.” –PTI

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