SRINAGAR: The Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, today chaired a high-level meeting to review the sector-wise implementation of projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package in terms of the physical and financial progress achieved till date.
Chief Secretary, J&K, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta along with Secretaries of various departments participated in the meeting.
Extensive deliberations were held to review the progress of 53 key developmental projects worth Rs. 58,477 crore being executed by the central ministries and the UT Government across various sectors including road, power, healthcare, education, tourism, sports, Jal Shakti, irrigation & flood control, housing & urban development, and disaster management, relief, rehabilitation & reconstruction.
It was informed that 20 projects have been completed so far and 13 will be completed during this financial year. Moreover, the remaining projects are advancing as per their stipulated timelines and are at various stages of completion.
The Union Home Secretary appreciated the efforts of the J&K Government in achieving path-breaking progress in completion of various projects over the last two years and asked to keep the momentum going.
Regarding National Highway-44, Dr. Mehta informed that the opening of Navyug Tunnel for public use has provided relief to travelers, and urged for time-bound completion of its technical works including installation of functional exhaust and emergency exit.
The Chief Secretary mentioned that the Ramban-Banihal segment is the most critical section on the National Highway and therefore, focused attention is required for early execution of works related to tunnels and re-alignment of damage-prone stretches, to ensure its completion by the stipulated date. He also requested development of vehicle holding areas and toilet facilities to further improve the travel experience on the Highway.
The Chief Secretary informed that the Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag road is of immense importance to provide alternate connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar. He mentioned that a tunnel at Singpora-Vailoo will ensure round-the-year alternate connectivity.
On review of Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha road, it was informed that geo-technical studies are being conducted for the tunnel and will be concluded within next two months, before the onset of winters.
Regarding Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri road, and Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road, it was informed that the projects will be completed in December 2021 and July 2022, respectively. Similarly, works on Jammu semi-ring road and Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch road are underway and will be completed in March 2022, and March 2024, respectively.
While reviewing the status of construction of AIIMS Jammu, it was informed that works will be completed by September, 2023. As regards AIIMS Kashmir, it was informed that the revised layout plan has been agreed upon and the construction activity will commence shortly. Further, the process of acquisition of additional 34 hectare of land has also commenced and it is expected to be completed by the end of September, 2021.
The Chief Secretary informed that the J&K Government is keen on commencing MBBS courses at AIIMS Kashmir which can be started by next academic session through temporary accommodation. It was decided that a team of Health Ministry, Government of India will visit Kashmir to work out feasibility in this regard.
Further, the Chief Secretary informed that a project for holistic restoration and rehabilitation of Wular-Dal-Nageen lakes and river Jehlum as a part of an integrated drainage system will be submitted shortly.
Regarding construction of transit accommodations, it was mentioned that construction of 2,744 1BHK accommodations in the Kashmir valley have been approved, whereas 1400 additional accommodations will be taken up in next month.
In power sector, the progress of various multipurpose hydroelectric projects were reviewed including Pakal Dul, Kiru, Kwar, Shahpur Kandi, and Ujh; which was found satisfactory. Acknowledging the potential of small hydroelectric projects in meeting the local electricity and irrigation demands in a decentralized manner, Dr. Mehta insisted on their dedicated development through suitable intervention from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.