Lt. Governor directs for immediate safety audit of all 20-year-old bridges across J&K

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Jammu: Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu today directed for immediate safety audit and 100% checking of bridges constructed 20 years back and undertaking repair/ retrofitting wherever required. He passed these directions during a meeting he chaired to review the performance of PMGSY in J&K at the Civil Secretariat.

Sh. Kewal Kumar Sharma, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Sh. BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Sh. Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Commissioner Secretary, Public Works(R&B) Department, Chief Engineers, PMGSY and other officers attended the meeting.

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During the meeting, Lt. Governor had a detailed assessment of the physical and financial progress of various projects taken under PMGSY across J&K. He called for preparing a maintenance policy of infrastructure being developed by Public Works (R&B) Department and directed for appropriating specific maintenance budget for the assets already created.

Lt. Governor exhorted upon the officers to create earthquake resistant infrastructure in the future and directed for periodic inspection of iron/steel bridges. He laid special emphasis on the use of hume pipes during the construction of hilly roads to maintain the natural flow of rain water and prevent any damages to the roads.

Further, he asked the officers to prepare district wise report on achievements made under languishing projects.

Sh. Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Commissioner Secretary, Public Works(R&B) Department gave a detailed presentation on cumulative status of PMGSY from Phase 1 to XII. He apprised Lt. Governor that a total of 3502 schemes with length of 19700.41 km costing Rs 12711.88 cr have been approved out of which 1880 schemes completed achieving 11374.145 km length were connecting 1838 habitations. It was informed that under Bridges programme, a total of 56 bridges were completed out of the set target of 64 for the year 2019-20.

Meanwhile, in another meeting, Lieutenant Governor reviewed the progress of various steps taken for development of Tourism sector in J&K.

Sh. Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department briefed Lt. Governor about the proposed activities for attracting more tourists in the Union Territory of J&K.

Addressing the officers, Lt. Governor asked them to conduct Road shows outside J&K to attract community travelers and suggested for putting up kiosks of Tourism department at conspicuous points across Railways stations, Airports and engage accredited guides to accompany the group tourists coming to J&K. He stressed on ensuring that all the requisite facilities are available in every tourist destination for the convenience of visiting tourists.

Emphasizing on safety measures, Lt. Governor directed the Tourism department to conduct safety audit of ropeways and entrusted upon the officers to ensure availability of trained rescue professionals and medical facilities at Skiing sites. He further asked them to explore the possibilities of developing small skiing sites across various tourist destinations in J&K.

Speaking on Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, Lt. Governor asked the officers to prepare a comprehensive plan for the restoration of the heritage building. He further directed them to identify popular places within the Jammu city to develop a tourist circuit after proper planning among various departments and devising harmonized method for utilizing the inter-departmental resources.

The meeting also discussed some key issues including road connectivity to various tourist destinations, developing Adventure and Golf tourism and optimum utilization of tourism infrastructure.