Govt Wants To Release Arrears: Omar15 March 2010
Srinagar: Stating that 20-years of strife in the State has led to trust deficit between political leadership and people, the chief minister Omar Abdullah Monday disclosed that government was seriously considering two major demands of employees - release of arrears and enhancement of retirement age. Talking to reporters after inaugurating Rangil water supply scheme-phase II at Shalteng on city outskirts, Omar said the government was seriously considering two major demands of employees. “We implemented 6th pay commission recommendations despite the fact that State’s economy was not good. We have to manage Rs 4100 crore to release the arrears of employees. This demand is under our active consideration,” he said. About enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60, he said, “The fulfillment of this demand is not that easy. But we have not closed the chapter and are studying the demand”. He sought the cooperation of employees and urged them not to resort to strikes. While addressing a gathering, Omar said more than 2.40 lakh people will benefit from the Rangil phase-II. “The present scheme, which will provide drinking water to maximum areas of the Srinagar City, is an indication of the fact that the present coalition Government is result oriented,” he said. “20 years of turmoil led to trust deficit between political leadership and people. NC-Congress coalition is trying its best to fill the vacuum. For the first time in past 20 years, a security officer was handed over to police. We are trying to win the trust of people,” he said adding government has framed a policy to facilitate the return of Kashmiri youth from Pakistan administered Kashmir and New Delhi has endorsed this policy. Omar said he doesn’t believe in drum beating. “I prefer to do my duty silently.” Without blaming any political party, the chief minister said Srinagar remained immensely ignored during the past six years. “During the first year of our tenure, we spent Rs 30 crore on macadamization of roads and we are committed to restore the lost glory of Srinagar,” he said. Omar announced time was not far off when Shikaras would be seen ferrying tourists in river Jehlum again. “We need to showcase the international beauty of Srinagar for tourists. Our craftsmen are the big attraction for tourists. I hope Shikaras would paddle again in Jehlum from Zero bridge to Chattabal Veir,” he said. When asked by mediamen about introducing Women Reservation Bill in the Legislative Assembly, the chief minister said, “There was a need to evolve a ‘broader consensus’ among the political parties on the issue”. Replying to query about Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s reported demand for establishing of Central University in Sopore, Omar said it was good that he finally realized the need of such things. “The decision of CU has been finalized. If something like it comes again, we will consider Sopore,” he said.