May 2016 News

My Father's Credibility Is At Stake: Mehbooba

15 May 2016
Rising Kashmir

Srinagar: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti Sunday said the credibility of her father and former chief minister, late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and that of the coalition government he forged with BJP was at stake and depended on implementation of the Agenda of Alliance. 'The credibility of my father and that of the coalition government depends on action taken report on the Agenda of Alliance, which can turn around the fortunes of the state over the next five years,' she said while urging BJP-led government at the Centre to take more substantive measures in this regard. Mehbooba said her father took a tough but well-thought out decision as he saw a historic opportunity to break new ground in bringing people from the three distinct regions of the state closer to each other. 'Mufti Saab was a visionary leader. He joined hands with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi after two months of sustained discussions which resulted in the formation of the Agenda of Alliance. It is now our collective responsibility to implement it and fulfill the promises made with the people of the state,' she said. 'The purpose of the alliance is to create a peaceful environment within the state so that people can live honourable and prosperous lives, the foundation of which lies in the Agenda of Alliance,' she added. Stating that people of Jammu and Kashmir have huge expectations with the PDP-BJP coalition government, Mehbooba said both State and Central leaders have failed to keep the promises made with them after State's accession with India. 'After the accession there has been a trail of unkept promises made by both the State as well as Central leaders. Lot of dreams were sold to the people during the last so many decades without fulfilling any one of them. This has led to loss of faith among the masses, more so in mainstream leaders,' said Mehbooba. The chief minister addressed public gatherings at Rajouri and Anantnag after laying the foundation stones of three new medical colleges in the state. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, J. P. Nadda, Union Minister of State in the PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh, senior PDP leader and Member Parliament, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Minister for Public Works and Parliamentary Affairs, A. R. Veeri, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Minister for H and ME, Bali Baghat, Minister for CA and PD, Ch. Zulfkar, Minister for A and SH, A. G. Kohli, Minister for Cooperatives, Chering Dorgey, Minister of State for Haj and Auqaf (IC), Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi and the Minister of State for H and ME, H and UDD and Social Welfare, Asiea Naqash were also present on the occasion. 'It was a fortunate coincidence that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed got an opportunity to serve the state as the Chief Minister from 2002 to 2005 while Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India,' she said. Mehbooba said both the leaders understood the sensitivities of the state and came up with a very humane response to the problem, which included ceasefire agreements, bringing down human rights violations and opening of new routes across the LoC. She said these steps created a feel-good factor, which unfortunately were not consolidated by the successive governments that followed. 'This time, people have again reposed trust and hope in the Coalition Government,' she added. The chief minister said that just as strengthening of the health infrastructure by setting up institutes like AIIMS was part of the Agenda of Alliance, many critical issues in the Defence, Power and other union ministries demand similar attention. Congratulating the people on setting up of five new medical colleges and two AIIMS in the State, she hoped that these will be completed within the stipulated time-frames. The Chief Minister said it is the duty of the State Health Department now to follow up so that funds from the Centre are accessed for kick-starting work on various projects taken up under different schemes. Describing the coalition government as a strong political combination, the Union Health Minister said the setting up of five new medical colleges in the state as well as two AIIMS will prove to be a turning point in the state's healthcare sector. 'We have received the proposal for setting up two AIIMS in J and K for which land has been identified at Awantipora in Kashmir and Vijaypur in Jammu,' he said, while urging the State government to forward other proposals related to health services sector so that requisite sanctions are conveyed without further delay. Nadda said the new medical colleges will be attached with their respective District Hospitals and an amount of Rs.189 crore will be spent on the construction of each college. He added that the Centre has also sanctioned two State Cancer Institutes at SKIMS Soura and GMC Jammu for which Rs.120 crore each will be expended. 'We will also fund upgradation of GMCs at Jammu and Srinagar, besides establish Dialysis Centre in each district hospital of the state under PPP mode,' he added. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh advised the State government to plan in advance for smooth functioning of the new medical colleges. He laid emphasis on arranging expert faculty and optimally utilizing the infrastructure once it is created. 'The Centre will bear 90% cost of total cost of expenditure on creation of infrastructure. Once the hospitals start functioning, the recurring cost will be borne by the state government,' he said, while asking Health Department to prepare a perspective plan to ensure smooth functioning of the colleges. Bali Baghat, in his address, highlighted the initiatives taken by his Department to improve healthcare delivery in the state. He said besides the State Cancer Institutes, five Tertiary Cancer Care Centres, each at a cost of Rs.45 crore, will be set up in the state. It is pertinent to mention that immediately after taking over reins of power in 2015, the State government had set into motion the process of identification of land in all five districts for establishing the newly-sanctioned colleges. The finalization of sites at Kathua and Doda are in advanced stages. The foundation stone was first laid at Mehra at Rajouri where 120 kanals of land has been identified, followed by Kanth Bagh, Baramulla, where the new college will be set up upon on 61 kanals of land. At Anantnag, the college will be established on 183 kanals of land. Those who were present included MPs, Jugal Kishore and Nazir Ahmad Laway, VC Pahari Board. Kuldeep Raj Gupta, Legislators, A. R. Rather, A. M. Padder, Ch. Qamar, Surinder Chaudhary, Ravinder Raina and Vibodh Gupta, senior PDP leaders Sartaj Madni and Dr. Mehboob Baig besides senior officers of state and divisional administration.