Conducts extensive tour of Jammu city, interacts with JMC Councillors
STATE TIMES NEWS Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu reviewed the progress of a number of projects in the winter capital of the Union territory on Friday and said the administration will expedite the works. He visited the market place and tourism reception centre to assess the facilities there. During a visit to the Tawi river bank the L-G was briefed by Ajeet Sahu, the principal secretary of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, about the progress of its beautification project and the Jammu lake project. Asserting that the administration was trying to expedite the projects, the L-G said, “We don’t know what had happened in the past, but we will carry it from here and see to it that these are completed.” In June last year, the Jammu and Kashmir government had cancelled GR Infra Projects Limited’s contract for developing the artificial Tawi lake. The administration is set to release fresh tenders to resume work. A revised detailed project report was framed, according to which Rs 51.57 crore shall be required to complete the project and Rs 4.97 crore to undo the damage caused due to floods till date, officials said. The project, launched in 2009 by the Congress-NC government, was marred by delays and missed six deadlines before work came to a standstill in 2018. As per the project plan, an auto-mechanical barrage would be constructed on the river Tawi, one kilometre downstream of main Tawi bridge. This will help create an artificial lake at Belicharana. The 1,500-metre-long and 600-metre-wide artificial lake, a first-of-its-kind here, will give a new dimension to tourism in Jammu city, officials said. In phase-II of the project, beautification and embankment works are to be taken up under Tawi River Front Development Project for which an MoU has already been signed by Jammu Development Authority (JDA) with the Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation. Commissioner Secretary, PHE I&FC Department, Ajeet Kumar Sahu briefed the Lt Governor about the status of Artificial Lake Project which is expected to be completed by July 2021.
At the start of the tour, the Lt Governor visited the multi-tier parking project at Bus Stand Jammu. He was informed that the Rs 213.08 crore multi-tier parking facility would have first three floors reserved for parking of around 1300 vehicles and 200 two-wheelers while as the fourth and fifth floor, would be developed to host commercial spaces like restaurants, showrooms, shops etc. for the convenience of passengers besides providing an alternate link to Nawabad area.
The Lt Governor while reviewing the project directed the concerned officers to ensure the operationalization of the multi-tier parking facility by ending March 2020 and at the same time outlined that unwarranted delays in the completion of developmental projects won’t be countenanced at any costs from now onwards.
He further asked the officers to rise to the occasion and replace feigned compliance with enthusiastic action on the ground to complete all the ongoing projects within the time schedules to avoid the overrun of cost, time and inconvenience to general public.
After that, the Lt Governor visited the historic Shri Raghunath Temple and paid obeisance inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
The Lt Governor then took a walk from Shri Raghunath Temple towards the Tourist Reception Center (TRC) across the historic market. Enroute, the Lt Governor took an on spot assessment of the beautification project of the market and other sanitation facilities.
At TRC, the Lt Governor met and interacted with the locals and the office bearers of various local business associations. On spot directions were issued to the officers regarding the genuine grievances put forth by them.
Further, the Lt Governor directed the officers concerned to complete the facelift of city markets and ensure the presence of dustbins, pay to use toilets and other basic amenities, wherever required. He asked the officers to ensure visible change on the ground within a month’s time.
At the same time, the Lt Governor called for a joint effort on part of the local market associations with the administration to ensure development of a uniform facade across the market along with identical signboards for the shops on lines of redevelopment of market around the Golden Temple Amritsar, a few years back.
The Lt Governor also visited the Hari Singh Park and took a tour of the park. He directed the officers to fix colour lighting along the walkways and take steps to make the park more aesthetically pleasing.
The Lt Governor directed the concerned officers to issue an official notification regarding the land surrounding the river so as to ensure proper demarcation and to save it from encroachment. He further stressed the development of green areas on both sides of the river.
While reviewing the working of Sewage Treatment Plant at Bhagwati Nagar, the Lt Governor directed the officials concerned for immediate 100 per cent capacity utilization of the plant by connecting pending households and other buildings in the area with the facility.
The Lt Governor also visited the upcoming Ropeway project at Bahu Fort in the Jammu city and took a detailed inspection of the facility. He was apprised by the concerned officials that the cable car facility would be thrown open for the public shortly.
The Lt Governor directed the officials to maintain the highest safety standards and professionalism while operating the facility.
While moving towards Udyog Bhawan at Bahu Plaza to review the working of Jammu Development Authority, the Lt Governor noticed a traditional pond at Narwal and passed on spot directions to Commissioner, JMC to construct a retention wall around it and fix a sign board conspicuously depicting it as Government land to save it from encroachers and penalize anyone dumping garbage around it. He further directed the officers to fix conspicuous “Government Land” signboards in and around all state lands, community water bodies within a period of 15 days, take immediate steps for demarcation of all such lands, and make provision for constructing boundary walls around them along with plantation of trees.
The Lt Governor, during the review of JDA asked the Vice Chairman to ensure that enforcement staff is sensitized to keep the encroachers of JDA land at bay. He directed the VC to devise a mechanism of ensuring every official of the enforcement wing has a particular land parcel allotted to him for surveillance against encroachment and if at all the said official fails to perform his duty or in any way connives with the encroachers, the said official should be penalized to the extent of dismissal from service, if need be.
While concluding the city tour, the Lt Governor visited the Historic Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex where he took on-ground appraisal of the restoration works being taken up at this Dogra heritage. The Lt Governor took an extensive tour of the interior sections of the complex including Gole Ghar and passed on spot instructions to the concerned officers regarding taking up emergency stabilization works of the most dilapidated structures, illumination of the completed sections and speeding up of the restoration works. He stressed that Mubarak Mandi Heritage complex is an inherent part of the royal Dogra culture besides being a world class heritage site.
The Lt Governor was accompanied by Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC); Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department; Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Commissioner Secretary PHE; Sushma Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner Jammu; Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, Vice Chairman, Jammu Development Authority (JDA); Avny Lavasa, Commissioner, JMC; Zubair Ahmad; Secretary, Tourism Department; Deepika K. Sharma, Executive Director, Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society and other senior officers of various departments and executing agencies.
Later, the Lieutenant Governor interacted with the Councillors of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) here at Conference Hall of JMC.
While interacting with the Councillors, the Lt Governor observed that the non-implementation of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments was hampering the complete empowerment of PRIs and Urban Local Bodies.
He reiterated that the government is resolute to implement the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments that would provide solutions to many problems and would serve as powerful tool for a true self government.
J&K has a Municipal Corporation Act 2000 but no rules have been framed under the said Act despite the lapse of so much time; this shows the lackadaisical approach on the part of the previous regimes, he added.
Replying to a query on domicile rights, the Lt Governor observed that the protection of lands and jobs for the locals of J&K would be ensured subject to certain exceptions keeping in view the interest of the UT.
The Lt Governor assured the Councillors that the government is working on granting the Warrant of Precedence on the lines of BDCs to the Councillors of Municipal Corporations.
The Lt Governor asked the JMC functionaries to develop an innovative revenue generation model for the corporation.
The Councillors apprised the Lt Governor about a wide range of developmental issues of their respective wards including maintenance of roads, parks, play grounds, sanitation etc. They also raised the demands pertaining to establishment of more Solid Waste Management plants, promotion of Tourism sector, construction of flyovers at the busy roads like Talab Tillo & Amphalla- Janipur road to reduce the traffic congestion, etc.
Being apprised on the issue of replacing the old drinking water pipes, the Lt Governor assured the Councillors that replacement of old and cracked water pipes would be looked into on priority.
Power potential of J&K also needs focused attention as it has not been tapped to its fullest, he added.
The Lt Governor advised the Councillors to reach out to the people and sensitize them about sanitation and maintain cleanliness around their surroundings.
He urged them to work devotedly to ensure the development of their Wards, maintaining cleanliness in the City and providing all the basic facilities to the people.
Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC); Advocate Purnima Sharma, Deputy Mayor, JMC and Councillors of JMC were present on the occasion.
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