Mufti pitches for highway expansion
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, July 14: Expressing concern over the “slow pace of work” on four-laning of Srinagar-Jammu highway corridor in Kashmir, the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party Patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Saturday stressed upon the central and the state governments to expedite work on the ambitious project in view of its economic importance for the state.
He said the establishment of internal connectivity through projects like Mughal Road, Anantnag (Islamabad)-Kishtwar road via Sinthan Top and Zojilla Pass Tunnel are of crucial importance as part of “our overall vision for ending the internal compartmentalization and external siege of the state.”
He said completion of these projects along with reopening of our traditional links with outside world across the LoC would “liberate untapped economic energies of the state and revitalize our cultural and social status.” The PDP patron was addressing a public gathering at
Qazigund in South Kashmir. “Various developmental projects particularly the extension of North-South corridor to Srinagar by the then central government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee is in a state of inertia. The North-South corridor connecting Srinagar with Kanyakumari and some other projects on National Highway have already missed their deadlines,” he said.
Mufti said Vajpayee had readily agreed to his request to extend the North-South corridor to Srinagar as originally it was planned only up to Kathua. “The completion of most part of Jammu-Kathua stretch had already brought tremendous relief to the commuters and once completed the highway could transform the standard of life of all residents of the state. Even on Srinagar– Gulmarg road work has not been completed despite the fact that it has been going on for seven years,” Mufti said.
Terming the North-South corridor extension to Srinagar as “a vital economic decision for the state”, the former chief minister asked the state government to concentrate on the project in the larger interests of the people. “There has been a lot of delay in the execution of this project at the ground level which a more focused and coordinated government could have reduced,” he said. “It was in 2003 that then prime minister laid the foundation stone of the first phase involving Srinagar and Jammu bye-passes but for many years the project suffered from lack of follow up and the Qazigund-Srinagar stretch as a consequence is only in its initial stages now.”
Mufti recalled that the coalition government led by him had got sanctioned the project to widen the road from Khanabal to Pahalgam along with the four-laning of Srinagar-Gulmarg road in view of their economic importance as tourism lifelines. The Khannabal-Pahalgam stretch was four-laned up to Seer Hamadan and it was expected that the present government would carry it forward and four-lane it right up to Pahalgam. “In view of its importance to tourism and Yatra the projects needs to be taken up on priority,” he said.
Regretting “failure of the present government” to carry forward the ambitious connectivity plans laid down by PDP led coalition government in its brief tenure, Mufti said that “the present government has failed to comprehend the vitality of these projects.”
Mufti said it was “disheartening to see how the government of India had to withhold further funding for some important sectors in view of the state’s inability to spend the same in desired manner.”
He said that despite central government’s liberal funding the “incapability of the present dispensation to realize the importance of major projects in the state has impacted the overall growth of the state.”
Speaking on the occasion, senior party leader and former deputy chief minister said that the present government has “failed to reap benefits for the state under the centrally-sponsored schemes many of which have not even been initiated so far.”
He said: “It speaks volumes about the style and standard of functioning of the state government that money that has already been sanctioned under various central schemes has either been surrendered or has not been utilized properly.”
Baig said people of the state are witness to the holistic change brought about by the PDP led coalition government in a brief period of three years. “We had no angels working for us in 2002 but it was the party’s political will, commitment to people, ability to provide direction to the administration and transparency that produced entirely different results,” he said.
Baig said “corruption and faulty governance is the hallmark of the present dispensation.” “I think time has come when people should judge the governments by their functioning and not the hollow slogans of the political parties. Your application of mind will set things straight in this state not for us alone but for your coming generations as well,” he told the gathering.
He urged the people to apply a strict yardstick and standards of accountability to judge the previous and the present governments. “Delivery on the ground on political, administrative and developmental fronts, civil liberty and human rights situation and freedom of speech and movement should be the touchstone for you to judge us and not mere rhetoric and promises,” Baig told the people.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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