Mufti reiterates his ‘commitment’ to rehabilitation

Srinagar: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said on Monday that his government was committed to rehabilitation of last year’s flood victims and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.
“Rehabilitation of the flood-affected continues to be a work in progress, but there are still gaps in entire rehabilitation and reconstruction process which need to be filled at the earliest,” said an official spokesman, quoting Mufti’s speech at the meeting of the state Cabinet.
Mufti and the coalition government led by him have come under severe criticism from all quarters for failing to start the rehabilitation and persuading New Delhi to release the promised financial assistance.
Mufti took a dig at Opposition National Conference saying he was deeply saddened by the “puerile” comments of those who were primarily responsible for the colossal damage to the life and property during the floods.
“The same people who were responsible for compounding the miseries of the people during the deluge because of their inaction are now trying to score brownie points over the people’s tragedies,” he added.
Mufti lauded the role of volunteers especially youth for their rescue and relief operations.
“We will be forever grateful to all who supported us during those testing times in our hour of need. The devastating floods showed us that the new generation of Kashmiris has come of age and they have taken the centre-stage,” he said.
He said the government has got down to a time-bound plan of action for providing relief to the uninsured flood-affected traders and destitute, to help them revive their livelihood.
He spelled out his government’s initiatives such in tackling future floods such as availing an assistance of Rs 1500 crore from the World Bank for flood management of major rivers.
“In addition, a separate Rs 400 crore plan has been formulated for flood management along River Jhelum,” he said, adding emphasis is being laid on construction of an alternate flood channel from Dogripora to Wullar at a cost of Rs 2200 crore.
He said people must cooperate in removing obstructions and encroachments to avoiding disasters in future, while expressing solidarity with the flood victims, and those who lost their lives in the 2014 floods.
BR Sharma is new chief secy
Brij Raj Sharma was appointed as new chief secretary of the state.
Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS officer hailing from Jammu, will also hold the post of principal secretary planning and development till further orders.
Sharma has held key positions, including principal secretary Home, chief electoral officer, chief executive officer Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, and divisional commissioner Jammu.
Sharma is junior on the seniority list to Dr Arun Kumar and his wife Sonali Kumar, Ashok Kumar Angurana and Khurshid A Ganai. While announcing Sharma’s appointment, the Cabinet hailed former chief secretary Iqbal Khandey for his “remarkable contribution in various capacities towards development of the State”.
Other Cabinet decisions
The Cabinet okayed the revised Master Plan for Pahalgam, named as ‘Pahalgam 2032’.
Nod given to state-sponsored social assistance scheme ‘Ladli Beti’ for its implementation in six districts where child ratio is skewed. The districts are Kathua, Jammu, Samba, Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag.
Approves the lease of 7 kanals and 7 marlas land at Parimpora for construction of Cold/Controlled Atmosphere Stores and allied infrastructure under PPP mode.
A sub-committee of the Cabinet constituted to examine the proposed Jammu and Kashmir Wakafs Bill, 2015, which aims at consolidating the existing laws pertaining to Wakafs and Wakaf properties in the state
The Cabinet approved in principle the Concept Paper on launching of J&K Skill and Entrepreneurship Development Mission, which would work under CM’s supervision.