Central forces express reservation
Union Cabinet Secretary Chairs Crucial Security Meet
Srinagar, Oct 23: Two days after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced that Armed Forces Special Forces Act (AFSPA) would be revoked from certain areas of the state, top brass of the central forces operating in JK on Sunday expressed “some reservations” on doing away with the law.
Sources told Greater Kashmir that top officials of the central forces expressed their views during a high profile meeting with central team led by Union Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth here.
They said the meeting which was attended by Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda, Principal Secretary Home BR Sharma, Army’s Corps Commander from Valley and Jammu, top brass of CRPF, BSF, and intelligence agencies discussed the possibility of AFSPA revocation threadbare with the visiting central team representatives.
During the meeting, sources said, Army, CRPF and BSF didn’t respond to the revocation call by state “positively.” “They brought security concerns to fore. However representatives of Police insisted that law should be done away with in a phased manner,” sources said.
Later the meeting between the central team and representatives from JK government and states’ security apparatus discussed steps needed to be taken to “keep situation under control” in Kashmir.
HIGH LEVEL TEAM REVIEWS EXECUTION OF CENTRALLY SPONSORED SCHEMES
The central team also including Home Secretary R K Singh and Defense Secretary S K Sharma, arrived here on Sunday on a 2-day visit. The team including secretaries of 12 central ministries and departments also reviewed the execution of the centrally sponsored development schemes, Rs 2000 crore job plan rolled out by the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council earlier this year.
During review of centrally sponsored schemes in health sector authorities from Union health ministry today assured allocation funds under second phase for setting up of state-of-art mental health hospital in the Valley.
The team sought progress report about upcoming 200 bedded maternity hospitals each in Jammu and Kashmir. However sources said the work on the institutes is going on at a slow pace though more than a year has passed when the decision was taken by the central ministry.
Sources said the central health team which was led by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Sujaya Krishnan and Director Health Ministry, Rakesh Kumar, stressed for “timely utilization” of funds sanctioned under different schemes. Under National Health Rural Mission program an allocation of Rs 260 crore has been fixed for JK besides separate funds meant for different centrally sponsored programs including family welfare and other schemes.
Sources said though the state health authorities led by Commissioner/Secretary, Health, GA Peer pitched for an additional Rs 30 crore for infrastructure development in the sector. However no assurances were given on this front.
While officials asserted that the authorities from union Rural Development Ministry led by its secretary BK Sinha gave a positive response to the implementation of different central programs sources said the “slow” execution of the flagship, MNREGA, is a concern. Under the program state has received Rs 1426 crore for current fiscal however the spending have been mere Rs 220 crore so far.
“Money is not reaching the poor. It is a serious problem and the department needs to pull up its socks to better the performance,” sources said.
Besides the central ministry has not allocated funds under Backward Regions Grant Funds and watershed program as it is waiting submission of plans from the JK for long time. During the meeting the state was represented by Commissioner Secretary Rural Development, F A Peer.
The Union Cabinet Secretary had last visited the State in October 2009. Seth was earlier scheduled to visit the State on October 9 this month but the visit had to be postponed at the last moment due to his some engagements.
Earlier Seth called on Governor N N Vohra and discussed various issues relating to the implementation of the flagship development programs and welfare schemes. They also discussed matters relating to internal and external security management, said an official handout.
During the meeting, various programs and issues relating to the implementation of current year’s Annual Plan, the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan, Centrally-Sponsored schemes and other major infrastructure development projects came under discussion. They also discussed issues related to Hydel power development, Kashmir Railway Project, growth of agriculture and its allied sectors and certain other key areas.
The Governor emphasized the need for constant monitoring to secure the time-bound completion of all the important development projects for ensuring against any delay in the benefits of various schemes reaching the people.
Later, the Governor hosted lunch for the high level central team of secretaries.
* Army, CRPF, BSF didn’t respond to state’s AFSPA revocation call
* Meet discusses steps to keep Kashmir situation under control
* Team reviews execution of centrally sponsored schemes, Rs 2000 crore job plan
* State Health deptt demands additional Rs 30 crore for infrastructure development
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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