- Approves Rs 600 crore for 2016-17
- 50 lakh to be provided to MLAs in Srinagar for focused infrastructure development
- Srinagar to be made an attraction for art and heritage lovers
Srinagar: The government on Monday decided to create a separate Capital City Development Plan (CCDP) for Jammu and Kashmir and remove them from the district development plan.
The CCDP, considered by the government as a policy shift, is aimed at transforming the developmental scenario of Srinagar and Jammu cities, said an official handout.
The plan which was announced during Srinagar’s district development board meeting chaired by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti would ensure Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), the Cantonment Board and other externally aided projects would not receive funds under the district plan and instead provided with dedicated resources under an independent arrangement.
The decision was taken to pace up the developmental progress of the city and augment the socio-economic infrastructure in view of the increasing population and demands.
The step would delink the development of the city from the District administration, thus enhancing the efficiency of service delivery and saving the time on project completions.
A similar capital CCDP would be formulated for Jammu city.
For implementation of CCDP, Mehbooba, who is also in charge Planning and Development Department, announced an allocation of Rs 600 crore for Srinagar city for 2017-18, which would be over and above Rs 102 crore annual plan for the district. She said besides undertaking major infrastructure development activities in Srinagar city through SMC, SDA, LAWDA and other agencies in a coordinated and substantive manner under CCDP, Rs 50 lakh would be provided to each constituency in district Srinagar for focused infrastructure development in each and every area.
The Chief Minister said that the funds for implementation of CCDP would be pooled in from the State’s own resources, Prime Minister’s Developmental Programme (PMDP), Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Public-Private Partnership.
Regarding the accomplishment of the CCDP, the Chief Minister said the independent over-arching body to oversee the implementation would be headed by an elected mayor. “Till the time such a constitutional arrangement is put in place, the respective Divisional Commissioners of Jammu/Kashmir will be designated the Nodal Authorities for implementation of CCDP,” she said.
She said the new developmental mechanism would be aimed at improving and augmenting the economic and social infrastructure of Srinagar and Jammu cities in a coordinated manner with adequate availability of resources. “CCDP would be based on assessment of the existing developmental scenario in the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu, outlining a vision for future development and strategizing for achieving these objectives,” she said and added that it will also work-out the indicative investment requirements and financial operating plans, indicating how investments made in public infrastructure are to be sustained.
The Chief Minister said CCDP initiative would also ensure coordinated infrastructure development in the capital cities, as otherwise multiplicity of executing and implementing agencies has resulted in lopsided planning and non-productive utilization of resources. It would ensure planned development of the capital cities including peri-urban areas, out growths and urban corridors, so that urbanization takes place in a dispersed and uniform manner,” she said adding that the new mechanism would also help scale up the delivery of civic amenities and provision of utilities to the residents of Srinagar and Jammu cities.
Mehbooba described Srinagar as a unique city and one of the oldest in the country after Varanasi. She said it is the duty of everybody to take the city to the heights commensurate with its culture, history and rich heritage. She hoped that this year working season would be utilized full to execute the works and compensate the loss of time during last fiscal.
Terming the old city as a symbol of heritage, Mehbooba Mufti asked for dovetailing handicrafts and heritage in city development in such a fashion to make Srinagar an attraction for art and heritage lovers. She said the government is trying to promote Srinagar as a tourist destination in itself and this year 23 projects worth Rs. 123 crore have been taken up in the city. She directed exploring the tourist potential of water bodies in the city besides Dal like Chounte Kul, Kitte Kul, Sonner Kul etc.
Mehbooba Mufti also stressed on giving a thought to operationalisation of water transport through Jhelum and across Dal to develop alternate transportation and increase the tourist footfall in the city. She directed completion of work on all ongoing projects in the city.
In today’s meeting, the board approved an outlay of Rs 600 crore under the Capital City Plan for 2017-18 for the Srinagar city. This is in addition to Rs 102 crore under district sector allocation for the city.
The Chief Minister, who also holds the portfolio of Planning & Development, approved release of Rs 34 crore as additionality for the current fiscal besides Rs 20 crore for settling cases of land acquisition and other expenses.
In another major decision, the Chief Minister directed release of Rs 50 lakh in respect of all the Assembly constituencies of the city to be utilized for civic repairs by the concerned MLAs.
In a specific direction, the Chief Minister ordered immediate repairs of the toilets in offices, schools and hospitals.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh in his observations said the Srinagar city would be developed in a befitting manner and in tune with its historic and cultural grandeur. He hoped that the Departments like Power and Urban Development would improve their functioning further thereby improving the quality of life of the city dwellers.
Minister for PWD, Naeem Akhtar assured the members that the government would give the city one of the best infrastructures in a short time. He said the upcoming Soiteng Bridge would be connected with Mehjoor Nagar to give the city an alternative entry route. He asked the R&B department to start the process of ditch filling and metalling of all roads in the city ahead of starting macadamisation during summer season.
Later the board approved the annual plan for Srinagar for 2017-18.