June 2006 News

Azad meets European delegation

28 June 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar: Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today told European Union delegation that a massive infrastructure development programme has been launched in the State and economy being rebuilt on strong footing that had crumbled during the peak time of militancy. The delegation led by Chairperson Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Union, Baroness Emma Nicholson had a meeting with Chief Minister here today. Mr Azad said among many other evils created by militancy, the development scenario of the State received unbearable jolts and economy got shattered. He said the gigantic and mammoth task of rebuilding the State and getting the people out of economic distress has been started and its results are surfacing in an encouraging acceleration. Mr. Azad said under new work culture to compensate developmental backlog alongwith combating vagaries of climate and short available working season, an innovative double-shift system of working on important development projects has been put in place. Presently, 550 important projects have been identified for completing under double-shift system. He said a special secretary in every development department has been made responsible to look after the monitoring mechanism of that department and place the facts before higher authorities and the Chief Minister directly on regular basis. He said that Jammu and Kashmir has been made first State in the democratic world where a unique provision has been added to the anti-corruption laws to provide for confiscating ill-gotten property of proven corrupt elements. He said the vigilance organization in the State has already taken action under this provision of law and confiscated certain properties of corrupt officials. Stating about the stupendous task State administration, NGOs and other Central Government agencies accomplished to address aftermath of October 8 earthquake in the state, Chief Minister said that it was the quick response of the Government and forces to save and rescue thousands of lives. He said he was also personally monitoring the rehabilitation process and visiting the quake-hit areas to have spot appraisal on weekly basis. In order to meet the exigencies created by natural calamities, Mr. Azad said that for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir State a high-power disaster management committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Chief Minister. Chief Minister also briefed the delegation about the roundtable conferences, CBMs, people-to-people interaction and other sincere measures initiated by the Centre to create cordial and friendly relations between India and Pakistan and address issues by way of dialogue and through peaceful means. He said besides opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi flagged-off bus service on Poonch-Rawalakot road to provide yet another link to link the divided families living across LoC. Referring to the recently held bye-elections in the State, Chief Minister said that the unprecedented voter turn out in the elections registering 20 percent highest polling than the national average itself vindicates the faith of people in democracy and peace. He said the elections have been recognised as fairest of all held so far in the State with a unique feature that the Chief Minister, who himself was a candidate, did not campaign even for a day in his constituency giving signals to each and every concerned that fair and free election is the hallmark of Government policy.


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