SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has set a deadline for December 31 for the construction of Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh Flyover, being executed by Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA).
The Chief Minister made in her maiden meeting with Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police of Kashmir Valley at SKICC on Saturday was informed by the Divisional Commissioner about the closure of traffic in patches along the under-construction site, keeping in view the safety and security of the commuters. “With active support of police, the work on the project is being monitored on a daily basis. Most of the critical works are done at night,” the Divisional Commissioner said while apprising the Chief Minister.
Emphasizing upon strict implementation of the rule of law, Mehbooba Mufti called for retrieving public spaces from encroachers and pedestrian pathways to allow better management of traffic. She also suggested additional manpower in traffic wing of the police for smooth movement of vehicles. “Traffic management has emerged as a real challenge and drastic steps are required to get rid of the menace of frequent traffic breakdowns,” she added.
The Chief Minister highlighted the need to inculcate traffic discipline, in particular related to roadside parking, use of helmets for both driver and pillion, wearing of seat-belts and barring use of cell phones while driving. She also called for better management of street vendors so that they earn their livelihood without creating traffic hassles and problems in movement of general public.
Asking officers to lead from the front in reaching out to the people in mitigating their problems, Mehbooba Mufti, described late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s vision as a perfect roadmap in making districts real models in development.
She urged Deputy Commissioners and SSPs to carry forward the mission left behind by late Mufti Sayeed during his previous tenure as the chief minister of the state. “Mufti Saab toured extensively and personally monitored developmental works in all districts. Even when his health was failing, it did not deter him from working selflessly for the welfare of the people,” she stated.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh, was also present on the occasion.
Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, Director General of Police (DGP), K. Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Home, R. K. Goyal, ADGP, CID, S. M. Sahai, Divisional Commissioner, Asgar Hassan Samoon and Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Zone, SJM Gillani also attended the meeting.
The Chief Minister, during her hour-long address, gave a detailed insight into the governance initiatives which bring a positive change at the grassroots’ level.
Laying stress on strict adherence to the Standing Operating Procedures (SoPs) while dealing with law-and-order situations, the Chief Minister said DCs and SSPs will be held directly responsible for public delivery mechanism in their respective districts. She invited suggestions from DGP in better crowd management by using innovative methods to safeguard human lives in law-and-order situations. “Real administration lies with DCs and District SPs. You are the principle instruments of change and I expect immediate results so that people, who are the real stakeholders, feel a positive change on the ground,” she stated.
On the issue of implementation of the Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA), Mehbooba Mufti expressed serious concern over non-adherence of timelines fixed under various services with special reference to issuance of rations cards, copy of FIRs, birth and death certificates. She directed DC Srinagar to conceive a model in implementation of PSGA which can be replicated in other districts. “I will be sending cases on experimental basis to check if the system is working properly,” she said adding she will be happy if these services are extended to the people well before the stipulated timelines fixed under the Act, especially in case of CID verification carried out for issuance of passports as well as NoCs for newly-appointed candidates in government service.
In order to provide succor to the people, especially in remote and far-flung areas of the Valley, the Chief Minister issued immediate directions for devising a mechanism where DCs and SSPs hear public grievances at least two days a week (Tuesday & Thursday) from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm. “In many cases law and order situations arise due to unmet civic demands. If genuine concerns related to basic amenities are addressed, several law-and-order issues will be automatically resolved,” she observed.
In order to build capacities of lower-rung staff at district level, Mehbooba Mufti advised both DCs and SSPs to reach out to them by listening to their genuine grievances so that they attend to their assignments without any encumbrances. “Welfare of government employees is as important as ameliorating the sufferings of the general public,” the Chief Minister said.
Drawing attention of the officers towards gaps in implementation of National Food Security Act, Mehbooba Mufti emphasized upon proper identification of consumers in each category and publishing reconciled information for general public right from village level.
The Divisional Commissioner informed the Chief Minister about the steps taken for implementation of NFSA, especially with reference to Srinagar where complaints have been received about exclusion of families from the ambit of the Act.
The Chief Minister issued on-spot instructions to Divisional Commissioner to hold meetings with mutton dealers so that consumers are provided mutton as per rates fixed by the government. She also passed directions to make auto-rickshaw meters functional within the next one month.
Besides delivering on the law-and-order front, the Chief Minister said the SPs must also deal effectively with normal crimes, especially those committed against women, thefts and youth falling prey to menace of drugs. “Pendency in criminal cases has to be cleared so that common people feel a sense of relief,” she stated.
The Chief Minister singled out solid waste management as a daunting task for each of the Deputy Commissioners. She also pointed out the difficulties faced by the people by the stink which emanates from Achan dumping site in Srinagar. “I will visit each of the districts to see for myself the status of solid waste management projects as this is a serious health issue for the people at large,” she added.
The Chief Minister announced pilot solid waste management project for RS Pura in Jammu. A similar project in Kulgam, in Kashmir valley, has already been started.
DC Kulgam briefed the Chief Minister about the waste-to-energy project currently under implementation with active support of all stakeholders, including the Auqaf Committees. The low-cost project envisages roping in pushcarts for segregation of waste at source in Phase I and conversion of solid waste into bio-gas in Phase II.