PM's 2-day Kashmir visit from May 24
16 May 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit the Kashmir valley for two days from May 24. This was informed by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here today. He said during his stay, the Prime Minister will attend the second round-table conference on Kashmir. Dr Singh will also chair the Unified Command meeting and review the progress of the ongoing Prime Minister's reconstruction programme which was snactioned last year. 'He will be briefed by the State Government on the amount spent under the package and also about the requirements,' the Chief Minister said. Meanwhile, Mr Azad presided over a high level meeting of Ministers and top brass of administration here today. Implementation of Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme was reviewed during the meeting. The meeting was attended by Minister for Transport Mangat Ram Sharma, Minister for Agriculture Abdul Aziz Zargar, Minister for Youth Services and Sports Peerzada Mohammad Syed, Minister for PHE Qazi Mohammad Afzal, Minister for Animal Husbandary Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Power Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister for Social Welfare Haji Nisar Ali, Minister for Urban Development and Housing Tariq Hamid Karra, Minister of State for R&B Gulchain Singh Charak, Minister of State for Rural Development Babu Singh, Chief Secretary Vijay Bakaya, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Anil Goswami, Principal Secretary Planning and Development Iqbal Khanday, Principal Secretary Finance, B. R. Kundal, Principal Secretary Health Sonali Kumar, Commissioner Secretaries, Chief Engineers and other officers. The meeting was informed that under Prime Minister's reconstruction programme besides constructing of 1000 mini micro power projects, the work on mega projects has also been taken in hand and is in full swing. The meeting was informed that Baglihar project would be completed next year with a generation capacity of 450 MWs. The Chief Minister said that he will take up the matter with the Prime Minister regarding the transfer of Salal project to State. He said new impeats has been given for local generation of power and construction of transmission lines including 220 MW HTL from Northern Grid to the Valley which he said is expected to be completed by July this year. He said power generation of over 20000 MWs has been survayed in the State and steps have been initiated to harness it for the over all benefit and economic good of the State. He said Jammu and Kashmir State has become the first State in the country to have separate budget for power sector. He said with the completion of Baglihar power project and 220 transmission line alongwith construction of scores of micro hydro power projects power situation would ease in coming years in the state. He said construction of Sawalakot Hydro Electric Project, would generate cheapest power and help in a big way for giving fillip to the local generation and reducing heavy expenditure and purchase of power. Chief Minister said that inter district connectivity being sine-quo- non for economic prosperity of the under developed and remote areas, thrust has been given to the construction and upgradation of important inter district and inter provincial roads like Mughal road, Domail-Katra road, Batote-Kishtwar-Simthan-Anantnag road, Srinagar-Uri-Kaman Post road, Khannabal-Pahalgam road, Srinagar-Leh National Highway, Jammu-Srinagar alternate Highway road. He said 17 kms of Mughal road from Bufliaz side has been completed and made motarable and concerned agencies have been directed to urgently start its construction from Shopian side. He said upgradation of Srinagar-Uri-Kaman Post road would boost the trade activities across the LoC and became an important road for trade and travel purposes. He said upgradation of Srinagar-Leh road to the level of National Highway would make the travelling more comfortable on this road. The Chief Minister directed for taking all out efforts for making the Valley as Silicon valley of the country by popularizing and developing Information Technology sector. He also directed for creating necessary infrastructure for all newly created Degree Colleges, Industrial Training Institutes and ensure importing of quality education and introduction of subjects that have great marketing potential for educated youth and technocrates. Mr. Azad said that National Rural Health Mission launched in the State will help in a big way to provide better health facilities in the rural areas, adding that Rs. 65 crores have been earmarked for this mission for the current financial year. He said Government is keen to provide modern health care facilities to the ruralities in their localities as such new impeats has been given to the development of health sector in the State. Chief Minister said that the programme of developing 119 modal villages ensuring all basic amenities to the villagers, is an innovative and prestigious programmes aimed at transforming the villages into prosperous ones. He said tourism being the main stay for economic welfare of the State demands focus of attention at all levels as such Government has concentrated its attention to review the prestine glory of tourist places, open up new and chaste areas for tourism, give boost to pilgrimage tourism and create befitting tourism infrastructure for international tourists. He said sports of tourist interest like skiing, rafting, swimming, mountaineering and other adventure tourism activities are also being created and showcased for lovers of these activities. Chief Minister directed for urgent taking up of projects under Asian Development Bank funding and working on double shifts to complete all important projects of high public importance within shortest possible time. Matters pertaining to Anganwari, Social Welfare Schemes, Education, Rural Development, Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electricity Yojana, NHPC projects and PHE schemes were also taken stock of in the meeting.