Ahead Of Durbar Move, Mufti Pays Attention To Jammu

23 April 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Arteev Sharma

Jammu: On the penultimate day of Durbar Move (shifting of state capital from Jammu to Srinagar for next six months), the PDP-BJP coalition government today finally gave some attention to the city, with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed conducting its tour and reviewing the ongoing development projects. The visit of the Chief Minister also assumed importance as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), Jammu, transporters and opposition parties have called for a complete shutdown tomorrow to express their resentment against coalition government's 'discriminatory policies' towards Jammu. Mufti's tour could be seen in the context that he tried to give an impression that his government was not 'anti-Jammu' as he gathered information about all major projects which either failed to take off or moving at a snail's pace. He was accompanied by Deputy CM Nirmal Singh, Minister for Public Works Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Forests Bali Baghat, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Syed Basharat Bukhari, Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar, MoS for Information and Culture Priya Sethi, MLA from Jammu (East) Rajesh Gupta, Principal Secretary to CM BB Vyas and senior officers. The Chief Minister visited sites for inspecting multi-level puzzle parking at Panjtirthi, restoration of Mubarak Mandi heritage complex, ongoing construction work on lawyers' chambers at District Court Complex, Janipur, multi-tier parking at the Jammu Bus Stand and construction of the Bikram Chowk-Presentation Convent School flyover near Gandhi Nagar. The CCI, Jammu, while raising the issue of discrimination against Jammu, had demanded high-level probe into shelving of proposed flyover at Amphalla and the BC road, besides delay in start of already sanctioned projects of Gandola, artificial lake, renovation of the Mubarak Mandi complex, new parking spaces in the city. The ruling coalition partner, BJP, which had always projected itself as the champion of Jammu cause, had been drawing flak for maintaining a silence on alleged discrimination being meted out to the Jammu region vis-a-vis establishment of AIIMS and 'bartering the interests of Jammu people'. Amid the raging controversy over the government's decision to set up AIIMS in Kashmir, the Chief Minister during his visit to the Government College of Engineering and Technology (GCET) issued directions for immediately setting up the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) on its campus at Chak Bhalwal till a suitable land is acquired for permanent establishment of the institute of higher excellence in Jammu. This would pave way for immediately commencing classes for the IIT in the current academic session from July-August this year. Describing the sanction by the Union Government for the establishment of an IIT at Jammu as a matter of honour, Mufti formed a Group of Ministers which would identify a suitable land for permanently establishing the IIT. He said the GCET would be shifted to a suitable place for the time being so that it continues to function smoothly without any hassles. The Chief Minister also granted on-the-spot approval for Rs 20 crore for the multi-tier parking at Panjthirthi in old city so that the work on the project starts immediately. The parking slot would be constructed over 10 kanals of land in 12 months and would have a capacity to hold 360 vehicles.