Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday stressed on saving the laws that forbids the non-state subjects to buy any property in the state. Mufti was referring to Article 35(A) which grants special position to the subjects of the state and is being currently challenged in the Supreme Court of India.
“Nobody can buy land in our Jammu and Kashmir. Should we not save it? We have to save it. What we have in our hands, we should save it first then ask for other things,” she said.
Addressing a public meeting after inaugurating Randakdaji-Jawalapora-Gaffarabad road in Jawalapora, the Chief Minister said the legislature of the State enjoys huge powers unlike any other State Assembly. She stressed on preserving and protecting this status for which she appealed every section of the society.
She said that the separate constitution of the state gives us the freedom to make our own laws unlike other states of the India.
“We have freedom to make our laws, isn’t this freedom. Isn’t this the power of your state assembly to pass the union laws after analyzing it fully unlike other states,” she said.
Mufti also stressed on the opening of more travel and trade routes on the Line of Control in the state.
“All the roads on the LoC should be opened. Not only Muzaffarabad, not only Rawalakot but Kargil-Askardu, Jammu-Sialkot, Nowshera-Jhangad roads should also be opened,” said Mufti.
She said that the Kashmir has become a cage as we only have one road connecting us to the other parts of the world.
“Kashmir has become a cage. We have to depend on only one road. We suffer when that road (Srinagar-Jammu) road gets blocked. The valley should open from all the sides.
“Freedom is when you reach Uzebkestan in a bus in two days. Freedom is when you relish a cup of tea in Islamabad. Freedom is when you are able to trade with Pakistan freely,” she said.
Reminding people of recent passage of GST Act by the State Assembly, Mehbooba Mufti said Jammu & Kashmir has enacted its own law in this regard which no other State in the country has. She said the guarantees carried in the said Presidential Order reflect the special status Jammu & Kashmir enjoys within the constitution of India.
Terming peace imperative for development, Mehbooba Mufti said only a conducive peaceful atmosphere can lead the State to prosperity and resolution of the issues. She said Government has taken up several developmental programmes this year which could not be taken up last year due to unrest. She said her Government has taken up developmental activities in areas which so far have remained neglected.
Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar in his address said the projects being taken up for execution are made time bound with proper fund flow so that the works do not suffer due to paucity or get carried beyond deadline period. He said the Chief Minister has issued specific directions that till work is not started foundation stones should not be laid.
MLC, Saiffudin Bhat also addressed the public meeting.
Pertinently, the Randakdaji-Jawalapora-Gaffarabad road is to be built at a cost of Rs. 15.05 crore and it would be completed in two years. With the completion of the road project, the connectivity to Doodhpathri and Tosa Maidan tourist destinations would be improved.
The Chief Minister also visited Khag where she laid the foundation of 10 Kilometre Khag-Aripanthan road to be upgraded from the present single lane to double lane at a cost of Rs. 13.08 crore. It would be completed by next year end. The villages to benefit from the road upgradation include Hazerpora, Kandahama, Gamboora, Bonigund, Suresh, Nasarpora and Khag.
Later, the Chief Minister also laid the foundation of a modern health centre at Khag to be set up by the Government Medical College, Srinagar at a cost of Rs. 5.28 crore. It would have diagnostic facilities, ophthalmology, dentistry, ENT besides medical and gynae units.
Addressing a largely attended public meeting after the foundation, the Chief Minister announced setting up of a Fire station, a tourist facility in view of the scenic beauty of the area and development of a sports field there. These demands were raised by the locals with the Chief Minister.
Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat; Minister of State for Health, Asiea Naqash; Principal, GMC, Srinagar and other senior officers were present on the occasion.
Earlier, the Chief Minister visited Magam where she inaugurated the newly constructed Degree College. She was received at the college by Minister for Education, Syed Altaf Bukhari; Minister of State for Education, Priya Sethi and Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Dr. Asgar Samoon.
Built at a cost of Rs. 9.83 crore, the college for 1500 students comprises academic, administrative and Library blocks.
Mehbooba Mufti directed fencing of the college and landscaping of the open spaces. She also interacted with the students of the college who projected certain demands.
Responding to their demands, the Chief Minister directed exploring possibilities for opening additional streams like Music, Science and Commerce, construction of auditorium and developing sports facilities and also strengthening the computer lab with manpower and equipment.
Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar; MLA, Gulmarg, Muhammad Abbas Wani; former legislator, Dr. Shafi Ahmad Wani and local activist, Nazir Ahmad khan besides officers of divisional and district administration and large number of people were present on the occasion.