More genuine demands for new Administrative Units to be considered: Omar
JAMMU :– Announcing the constitution of an expert committee to look into the claims of people of left out areas in the Cabinet Sub-Committee Report for creation of new administrative units, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday said that the said Committee would be asked to finalize its report within three months to be presented before the Cabinet for final decision.
“I appreciate the Members of the Cabinet Sub-Committee led by the Deputy Chief Minister for visiting every nook and corner of the State and finalizing the report regarding creation of new administrative units taking full consideration of the norms and other parameters. However, it is being felt that the genuine claim of a few areas which have not found place in the Report need consideration to deliver justice to the people”, he said and added that the aspirations of the people of these areas would be given due consideration by the committee of experts so that their genuine claims are properly looked into.
Replying to the discussions on the Motion of Thanks for Governor for his address to the Joint Session of both the Houses of Jammu and Kashmir Legislature on 10th of February, the Chief Minister while paying his gratitude to the Governor for delivering the address, expressed dismay over the behaviour of the principal opposition party (PDP) for disturbing the discipline and decorum of the Joint Session and compelling the Governor to shorten his speech.
Omar Abdullah said that the principal opposition party (PDP) is habitual of creating pandemonium in the House as they do not tolerate the truth about the peace and development that has rooted fast in the State during the last five years and is amply visible on the ground. “It is most painful and shameful that the member of this party created an unpalatable and disturbing situation in the Joint Session of the two Houses and disturbed the address of the Governor”, he said and added that the Members of this party are in the wrong notion that their habit of noise making, furniture breaking and dancing on the tables in the well of Houses earn them praises.
“People dislike and condemn this kind of attitude of their representatives because they have voted them to voice their demands in the Legislature and not to indulge in remaining absent from the Houses and not discussing the issues of urgent public importance”, he said and termed PDP and BJP as propagandist parties nurturing on fooling the people through misinformation and falsehood. He said both the parties are hobnobbing secretly and hatching conspiracies against democratic forces in the State.
The Chief Minister said that PDP is so much so frustrated by witnessing the peace conditions rooting fast in the State and development graph showing conspicuous upward growth year after year that it wants to give a false notion to the Country by dubbing the normalcy and peace conditions in the State as ‘deceptive and forced calm’. He said they try to use this phraseology as propaganda to belittle the achievements of the Coalition Government and the commitment of people towards peace and development. He said they want to give an impression as if the prisons of the State are full of prisoners, people are afraid and do not want to live their normal life. He said PDP sells this contention to create confusion in the minds of people outside the Country as they are most disturbed by witnessing the turnaround in the conditions in the State which have helped to fast track the development and expand economic activities and employment generation for the youth.
Omar Abdullah said that only 2396 prisoners held under different charges are in the prisons. He said 30 people mostly timber smugglers have been apprehended under PSA. He said the rate of militancy has come to lowest ebb and loss of civilian in these incidents has decreased conspicuously. However, he added that security forces have lost more precious lives in the militancy related incidents during the last five years.
The Chief Minister appreciated security forces for not losing their calm even under challenging circumstances and not resorting to any retaliatory firing. He referred to incident of Srinagar bypass where eight army persons were killed in a militancy attack, the incident of Bemina, Samba and Hiranagar in which Army jawans and Police personal were killed but the forces did not retaliate and saved the innocent lives. “I salute the security forces for this kind of restraint”, he said and expected similar kind of high quality attitude by them during the times of challenge to save the innocent lives.
Omar Abdullah also referred to the decision of Army to look into the incident of killings in Machail and while appreciating this he said that the decision of the Army regarding closing of Pathribal case needs revisiting. He said some innocents have been killed in the incident and justice demand that the culprits are identified and punished.
The Chief Minister said that under the Amnesty announced by him for the detainees apprehended in 2010 for stone pelting, some 228 cases against 1811 persons have been withdrawn. He said under the new Passport clearance policy his Government gave No Objection in 360150 pending cases during the period 2010 to 2013.
Taking a dig on PDP for remaining out from the proceedings of the House constantly, the Chief Minister said that this vindicates their failure and the success of Coalition Government. “Had there been any issue, they could have raised it and discussed in the House, but their remaining away from House and not raising their voice for the peoples clear indication that they have nothing to say”, he said and referred to the path breaking initiatives taken by the Government to give good governance, bring transparency and accountability in the functioning of administration and to lay strong edifice of participatory democracy in the State.
“We have conducted Panchayat Elections, empowered these institutions and the Cabinet has approved the incorporation of the provisions of 73rd amendment into the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir through the Legislative business which will enable to constitute Block Development Councils and District Development Planning Boards to be headed by elected representatives and not through the nomination process”, he said adding “this is called the participatory democracy”. He said that the provisions of 74th amendment to empower Urban Local Bodies have been almost incorporated.
The Chief Minister also criticized the attitude of PDP with regard to the decision of the Government relating to the creation of administrative units and said that this party had also tried to hamper the decision of Ghulam Nabi Azad the then Chief Minister of the State, regarding the creation of eight new districts in the State. “The members of this party in the Cabinet of Mr. Azad tried to browbeat him but he did not yield to their tactics and went ahead to create new districts”, he said and added that PDP indulges in this kind of attitude for they consider the party on the losers side for not taking this kind of decisions when they had the opportunity to do so. “Since they have lose the argument as such they run away from the House as has been their past practice”, he maintained.
Omar Abdullah castigated BJP for carrying the false bogey of abrogation of Article-370 whenever elections draw near and sleep over the issue when in power. He said like PDP, BJP wants to fight elections by raising false propaganda. Without naming Narendra Modi, he said that a top leader of BJP talked about discussing the benefits of Article 370 when he spoke at a public rally in Jammu. “I challenged him to discuss it with me at any place and any time but he, through a lesser important leader, denied discussing the issue at all”, he said.
The Chief Minister said that National Conference and Congress will protect and safeguard the Article 370 under all circumstances as it serves like a bridge between the Centre and the State and determines the relations between the two.
On the achievements and performance of the Government during the last five years, the Chief Minister said that about one lakh youth have been provided employment in the government and private sectors while 70000 jobs have been put on fast track selection made. He said initiatives like UDAAN, HIMAYAT, SKWEPY etc are under successful implementation in the State to enhance the employability and expand employment orbit for unemployed youth of the State.
On Power generation, the Chief Minister said that as against the indigenous power projects of the capacity of 750 MWs established in the State since 1947 to 2009, his Government allotted power projects of the capacity of 1500 MWs in just five years. He said strong edifice has been laid to generate 9000 MWs of power in the State in next seven to eight years. He also mentioned the high potential for generation of solar energy available in the Ladakh region and said that an expert on the subject has told him “what is gulf for oil, Ladakh is for generation of solar energy”. He said all efforts are being made to give boost to the generation of solar energy in Ladakh and transmit power from this area through a new transmission line being installed between Leh to Srinagar.
Omar Abdullah expressed gratitude to Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for liberal financial help and support to the State Government to march ahead on road to progress and development and mentioned construction of 4-laning of National Highway, boring of tunnels at Nashri and Qazigund and launching rail service between Banihal and Baramulla.
The Chief Minister highlighted the need for broad banding the railway network in the State and creating South-East railway corridor in the Valley and connecting Poonch, Rajouri and like areas with the railway network. He said he has taken up this issue with the Union Government and will pursue it there.
The Chief Minister said that during the last five years about 8000 kilometres long new roads have been constructed, 15000 kilometres macadamized and 19000 kilometres upgraded besides completing 500 road projects and 265 bridges. He also mentioned the launch of flyovers in Srinagar and Jammu. He said completion of 4-lane National Highway from Jammu to Srinagar will reduce the travel between the two cities to 4 hours.
Omar Abdullah said that over 1000 water supply schemes have been completed during the last five years besides the establishment of 10000 hand pumps and 200 water treatment plants. He said 5000 schools have been provided with protected drinking water facilities. He said about Rs. 1616 crore water usage charges have been collected from various power companies generating electricity from the rivers of Jammu and Kashmir.
Omar Abdullah said that two Central Universities, 23 Degree Colleges, 18 Polytechnic Colleges and 6 Modern ITIs have been set up in the State during the last five years. He said 20000 ReTs have been regularized in this period.
The Chief Minister said that 26 new health institutions and two maternity hospitals were established in the State and 10000 doctors and paramedics were engaged to provide staff to the health institutions in rural and far-flung areas. He said the salaries and allowances of doctors have been enhanced under NRHM for serving in the rural areas. He said One Number Ambulance Service is being introduced in the State soon adding that Jammu and Kashmir has shown remarkable improvement in almost all vital health parameters. However, he showed concern about the decline in sex ratio and appealed the members of the Legislature to play their role in making society aware of the fall out and consequences of female feticide.
The Chief Minister also mentioned increase in the tourist flow during the last five years and said that it has remained over 10 lakh in the Valley during 2012 and 2013. He said the number of pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine has also gone to one crore and those visiting Shri Amarnath in lakhs.
The Chief Minister also referred to the measures taken by his Government to improve the lot of farmers, horticulturists and artisans in the State. He said various packages have been provided to the agriculturists during the last five years. He said on the pattern of Kissan Cards 23000 Artisan Cards have been provided to artisans to develop their craft units and enhance economic conditions. He said 4000 modern carpet looms have been provided to poor carpet weavers and 4000 more are being provided this year free of cost.
The Chief Minister said that his Government has taken positive and effective welfare measures for Kashmiri Migrants. He said his Government wants to create conducive and palatable atmosphere for Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley so that they would return on their own will. He said 1500 jobs have been given to KP youth in the Valley and 4000 jobs are in offing for them. He said that a new rehabilitation package for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants is being pursued at the Union Government level which would accommodate the requirements highlighted by the community
Rs. 19900 cr released under different sectors during last 3 fiscals: Ajay Sadhotra
JAMMU – Minister for Planning and Development, Mr. Ajay Sadhotra informed the House today that Planning and Development Department has released an amount of Rs.19,900 crore during last three financial years under different sectors in the State.
Replying to a question by Mr. Mohammad Sharief Niaz, the Minister said that an amount of Rs. 6000 crore was released during 2010-11, Rs. 6600 crore during 2011-12 and while as Rs. 7300 crore during current fiscal under different sectors in the State.
The Minister informed that 78 road projects are under execution in Doda district including in Bhaderwah. He said efforts are being made to complete these road projects within stipulated time frame. He also informed about the present status of each road project.
The Minister also informed the House about the present status of centrally sponsored schemes being executed in the State under different sectors.
4 parks in Batamaloo Constituency: Peerzada
Minister for Floriculture, Peerzada Mohammad Syed informed the House that there are four parks in Batamaloo constituency, which are being maintained by the Floriculture Department.
Replying to a question by Mr. Mohammad Irfan Shah in the House today, the Minister said that Batamaloo Park-A and B, Karan Nagar Park near National School and Kaksari park near SMHS hospital have been already developed and minor works of the parks would be under taken on need basis.
Peer Afaq Ahmed and Mr. Javed Ahmed Dar raised supplementaries and demanded development of new parks besides maintenance of existing ones in their constituencies.
32 WSSs under execution in Ramban: Sham Lal
‘Challans against 39 Tawi River land encroachers produced in court’
1st stage of WSS Chack Thune to be completed this fiscal
Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Mr. Sham Lal Sharma informed the House that 32 Water Supply Schemes(WSS) are under execution in Ramban Constituency at the total estimated cost of Rs. 38.42 crore against which Rs. 17.30 crore have been expended upto the end of January this year.
Replying to a question by Mr. Ashok Kumar today in the House, the Minister said that 6 water supply schemes are also under execution at the total cost of Rs. 13.57 crore through PHE Division, Doda against which Rs. 6.96 crore have been utilized on these projects till January 2014.
The Minister said that the funds to the tune of Rs.5.53 crore have been released for these 38 ongoing WSS scheme during current financial year, adding that these schemes would be completed in time bound manner.
The Minister said presently two Rapid Sand Filtration Plants one each at Ramban and Batote towns with the capacity of 5000 gallons/hr are functional. He said that tenders stand floated for construction of 15000 gallons/hr filtration plant for Ramban under BRFG.
In reply to another question by Mr. Ashok Khajuria regarding encroachment of land on the banks of Tawi River, the Minister informed that cases of some illegal encroachment on the banks of river Tawi at Karninaila Chak at Nandni have been noticed. He said assessment of the total area of the land encroached is being done by Revenue Department.
The Minister informed that challans against 39 encroachers have been produced in the Court under Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources Management Act 2010 and at present the cases are sub-judicious, adding that verification of land is still awaited from the Tehsildar settlement Jammu.
In reply to another question by Mr. Mohammad Yaseen Shah, the Minister said that the water supply scheme Chack Thune is under execution under district Plan. He said the first stage of the scheme would be completed this fiscal and drinking water be provide to village Thune adding that the work on second stage of the project for Checki Sangri would be completed in next financial year. He said that all going Rural Water supply schemes with LIC loan assistance have been shifted to NRDWP during current financial year.
Replying to another question by Mr. Sukh Nandan Kumar, the Minister informed that under Irrigation and Flood Control 50% funds of current year allocation under State sector and NABARD Loan assistance have been released. He said, however, under AIBP and FMP no funds under central grant have been released till date. He said in this regard the Union Ministry of Water Resources has revised the guidelines and sought resubmission of the proposals as per new guidelines.
Centre approves Rs. 120 cr for conservation of Wullar Lake, Rs. 30 cr released: Mian Altaf
Minister for Forests and Environment, Main Altaf Ahmed informed the House that the Centre has approved Rs. 120 crore under the 13th Finance Commission for Conservation and Management of Wullar Lake, adding that in this regard the 1st installment of Rs. 30 crore was released by the Centre during 2011-12 against which Rs. 20.61 crore have been utilized upto last December.
Replying to a question by Hajji Mohammad Ashraf Ganai today in the House, the Forest Minister informed that area of lake as per toposheet of 1911 was 217.58 Sq Kms which includes 58.37 Sq Kms of associated marshes. He informed that the area got reduced to 176 Sq Kms due to land use change.
The Minister said that, however, as per revenue records, the actual area excluding associated marshes is 130 Sq Kms and it has been demarcated in 2011-12 with 1159 boundary pillars by Wullar Conservation and Management Authority.
Ration cards being issued only against surrender certificates: Ch. Ramzan
Minister for CA&PD and Transport, Ch. Mohammad Ramzan informed the House that new ration cards are not being issued by CA&PD Department at present, as the Department is getting food grains on the basis of projected population of year 2000 from the Centre. He said the ration cards are being issued in favour of some households only against surrender certificates.
Replying to a question by Mrs. Bimla Luthra today in the House, the CA&PD Minister said that since the National Food Security Act 2013 has come into force with effect from June 7, 2013, the Government has circulated a proforma amongst the general public of State for obtaining basic inputs and have basic survey of the households with respect to socio-economic status in order to arrive at a reasonable criteria for inclusion/exclusion of households to be covered under National Food Security Act-2013.
Reformative initiatives taken to curb corruption, improve transparency in Departmental work: Rather
Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather has said that Government has taken number of steps to curb the menace of corruption and to bring transparency in the working of Government.
Replying to a question by Mr. Abdul Gani Malik today in the House, the Finance Minister said that State Vigilance Commission has been made functional by appointing a Chief Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners and Government has notified the J&K State Vigilance Rules 2013 to fully enforce the provisions of the Act.
The Finance Minister said that the State Cabinet recently approved J&K Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2014 which is being introduced in the current session of the State Legislature to make anti-corruption laws more stringent.
The Minister said that Government has empowered 7 Additional District Courts to deal with cases, falling under the J&K PC Act, Samvat, 2006 for speeding up the trial in corruption related cases. He said by enacting the Public Services Guarantee Act and adopting the Results Framework Document (RFD), the Government has undertaken two significant good governance initiatives, aimed at providing a mechanism for the timely delivery of public services and ensuring transparency and efficiency in the Government Departments.
Mr. Rather said that RTI Act has been enacted and strictly enforced and made fully functional. He said J&K Accountability Commission Act 2002 has been amended to focus its jurisdiction to the Ministers and Legislators of the State, adding that Government has also appointed the Chairman and a Member of the Commission to focus on corruption among the political class.
The Finance Minister informed that Government has also enacted J&K Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 2010, which reflects the resolve of the Government to deal with the menace of ‘Benami’ transactions. He said E-tendering and E-procurement, to make the allotment of works and procurement of materials competitive and transparent, have been introduced in the major development oriented departments of the Government.
56213 DRWs regularizes upto Jan 2014: Rather
Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather informed the House that no regularization policy has been formulated for casual workers, as yet. He said, however, the Government has constitute a Cabinet Sub-Committee to go into the extent/magnitude of the problem relating to casual workers to see financial, legal and administrative issues that may arise in the regularization of such temporary workers and work out and appropriate policy in this regard.
Replying to a question by Mr. Charan Jeet Singh today in the House, the Finance Minister said that as regards Daily rated workers who have completed seven year continuous service upto March 13, 1994 have to be regularized from April 1st, 1994.
The Finance Minister informed that the same policy of regularization is applicable to all daily rate workers/ work charge employees as existed in the Government departments/PSUs/Autonomous bodies on January 31, 1994.
` The Finance Minister informed that out of 59594 Daily Rated Workers(DRW) 56213 stand regularized upto January 31, 2014, leaving a balance of 3381 daily rated worker yet to be regularized. He said this being a continuous process, all the daily rated workers/work charge employees who have been engaged prior to cut off date of January 31, 1994 and form part of the registered figure of daily rated workers, but have not been regularized so far would be considered for regularization as and when the requisite proposal, complete in all respects, are received in the Finance Department.
Business in LA
Speaker seeks coop of Opposition for smooth conduct of Business
JAMMU – Speaker J&K Legislative Assembly, Mr. Mubarak Gul, today, while pacifying the Members of the Opposition said that he has taken due cognizance of their concern regarding creation of more administrative units in the uncovered areas and brought the issue before the Government. The Government has been asked to come up with an appropriate reply in the House, he said while intervening in the House when several opposition members raised the issue.
Immediately after the Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly, the Speaker asked the Members of the Opposition to extend their full cooperation in maintaining the decorum of the House in order to transact important Business, however, they continue to disrupt the proceedings and later boycotted the House.
Earlier, Syed Bashir Ahmed, Ch. Zulfikar Hussain, Hakim Mohammad Yasin, Ashwani Sharma, Jugal Kishore, Yashpal Kundal, T. Namgyal and Jagdesh Raj Sapolia and Er. Rashid voiced their concern for not giving due share to their areas by the Government while setting up of new administrative units in their respective areas. They urged upon the Government to do justice with the deserving areas and fulfill the aspirations of the people.
Business in LA
15 members take part in discussion on Governor’s address
JAMMU – Several members took part in the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s Address in the Legislative Assembly today.
Mr. Ashok Kumar while supporting the Governor’s Address said that Government has taken several revolutionary decisions in this tenure for the welfare of the people. He said the Government has tried to do justice with all sections of the Society in all three regions of the State. He, however, demanded upgradation of infrastructure in vital sectors in Ramban area.
Mr. Mohammad Sharief Niaz while supporting the Governor’s Address said that Government has succeeded in fulfilling its promises made to the public before the elections. He said considerable development has taken place in all vital sectors and figures are showing encouraging trend. He commended Government for the historical decision of creation of administrative units in the State and said that this will go a long way in mitigating the problems of people in all three regions of the State.
Mr. Harshdev Singh pinpointed several deficiencies in the functioning of the Government. He contested the claim of the Government regarding benefits of various flagship programmes of the Central Government and said that these schemes have not been implemented in letter and spirit and common man has been deprived of the benefits of such schemes.
Er. Rashid alleged that Government has discriminated against many areas while creating new administrative units in the State. He sought review in the decision and asked for considering the demands of left out areas. He also wanted to know the stand of Congress and NC on the issues of Autonomy and Self Rule.
Peer Afaq Ahmed highlighted the achievements of the Government during the past five years. He said Coalition Government launched several pro-people policies for their welfare in the State. He said that the measures initiated by the Government have started yielding results on ground and people have acknowledged the change. He, however, urged upon the Government to create more avenues of employment for those youth who are not adequately qualified. He also called for speeding up widening work on Khanyar- Zadibal-Pandach road from Nowshera to Soura.
Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta while opposing the Governor’s Address alleged that decision to create administrative units was politically motivated and did not fulfill the aspirations of people of deserving areas. He also referred to the poor functioning of NBCC for delaying development projects in Jammu city and consequently creating lot of hardships for the people. He also pointed out huge liabilities towards contractors for the past some years and urged the Government to clear these at the earliest. He urged the Government to focus on upgradation of basic services in the Jammu city.
Hakim Mohammad Yasin urged upon the Government to make functional the newly created administrative units at the earliest. He also sought effective implementation of flagship programmes of Central Government so that the benefits reach out to the needy. He called for carrying forward the peace process in the State as envisaged in the Working Groups set up by the Prime Minister. He also sought concrete steps to take back power projects from the NHPC.
Mr. Jugal Kishore alleged that Government has failed to fulfill the promises made with the public, especially with regard to provide basic facilities to the people in the rural and far-flung areas. He alleged that Government’s decisions are politically motivated and common people are deprived of benefits of various government schemes.
He called for strengthening the educational network in Nagrota Constituency. He also urged the Govt. to approach the Centre for setting up a Rail Coach Factory in Jammu to overcome the problem of unemployment.
Dr Mustafa Kamal lauded the Government initiatives for the welfare of the people, adding that steps taken during the past five years have started giving dividends on ground. He stressed the need for initiating dialogue process between India and Pakistan to restore permanent peace in the region. He said the peace process which was initiated by the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee needs to be taken forward for a logical conclusion.
Mr. Baldev Sharma while expressing concern over the steps of the administration regarding sealing of some buildings in Katra, called upon the Government to intervene and come to the rescue of people. He said these structures were raised years back and their demolition or sealing will create hardships for the people. He expressed gratitude to the Government for creating new administrative units in Reasi district.
Mr. Mohammad Irfan Shah while supporting the Governor’s address said that the Government has taken historic decision by creating new adm. Units in the State. He said this will reduce the gap between the public and administration considerably. He called for making these units operational on ground at the earliest. He also urged for enhancement of funds under CDF to ensure adequate development in the jurisdictions of the MLAs.
Mr. Ashwani Kumar Sharma demanded compensation for the farmers who suffered losses due to border ceasefire violations. He also called for immediate package for the West Pakistani
Mr. Krishan Chander Bhagat supported the programmes and policies of the Government and said that during the past five years Government has been able to provide better basic facilities to the people in the rural and far-flung areas. He demanded upgradation of medical, drinking water facilities and strengthening the network of education and roads in Chenani area.
Mr. Balwant Singh Mankotia urged the Government for curtailing the wasteful expenditures by taking various austerity measures. He also emphasized the need for a review in the existing recruitment policy. He also called for considering the demands of uncovered areas for creating new administrative units.
Mr. Charanjeet Singh thanked the Governor for his address and supported the welfare initiatives taken by the Government. He urged upon the Government to strengthen the road network in the Kathua constituency.