Union Home Secretary reviews PMDP projects’ implementation in J&K

Deliberations held on progress of 53 key developmental projects worth Rs. 58,477 crore
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla. @BhallaAjay26/Twitter

Srinagar, Aug 27: The Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla today chaired a high-level meeting to review the sector-wise implementation of projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) in terms of the physical and financial progress achieved till date.

Chief Secretary, J&K, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta along with Secretaries of various departments participated in the meeting.

Extensive deliberations were held to review the progress of 53 key developmental projects worth Rs. 58,477 crore being executed by the central ministries and the UT government across various sectors including road, power, healthcare, education, tourism, sports, Jal Shakti, irrigation & flood control, housing & urban development, and disaster management, relief, rehabilitation & reconstruction.

It was informed that 20 projects were completed so far and 13 would be completed during this financial year. Moreover, the remaining projects were advancing as per their stipulated timelines and were at various stages of completion.

The Union Home Secretary appreciated the efforts of the J&K government in achieving path-breaking progress in completion of various projects over the last two years and asked to keep the momentum going.

Regarding National Highway-44, Dr. Mehta informed that the opening of Navyug Tunnel for public use provided relief to travellers and urged for time-bound completion of its technical works including installation of functional exhaust and emergency exit.

The Chief Secretary mentioned that the Ramban-Banihal segment was the most critical section on the National Highway and therefore, focused attention was required for early execution of works related to tunnels and re-alignment of damage-prone stretches, to ensure its completion by the stipulated date. He also requested development of vehicle holding areas and toilet facilities to further improve the travel experience on the Highway.

The Chief Secretary informed that the Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag road was of immense importance to provide alternate connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar. He mentioned that a tunnel at Singhpora-Vailoo would ensure round-the-year alternate connectivity.

On review of Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha road, it was informed that geo-technical studies were being conducted for the tunnel and would be concluded within next two months, before the onset of winters.

Regarding Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri road, and Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road, it was informed that the projects would be completed in December 2021 and July 2022, respectively. Similarly, works on Jammu semi-ring road and Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch road were underway and would be completed in March 2022, and March 2024, respectively.

While reviewing the status of construction of AIIMS Jammu, it was informed that works would be completed by September, 2023. As regards AIIMS Kashmir, it was informed that the revised layout plan has been agreed upon and the construction activity would commence shortly. Further, the process of acquisition of additional 34 hectare of land also commenced and it was expected to be completed by the end of September, 2021.

The Chief Secretary informed that the J&K government was keen on commencing MBBS courses at AIIMS Kashmir which could be started by the next academic session through temporary accommodation. It was decided that a team of the Health Ministry, Government of India would visit Kashmir to work out feasibility in this regard.

Further, the Chief Secretary informed that a project for holistic restoration and rehabilitation of Wular-Dal-Nageen lakes and river Jehlum as a part of an integrated drainage system would be submitted shortly.

Regarding construction of transit accommodations, it was mentioned that construction of 2,744 1BHK accommodations in the Kashmir valley have been approved, whereas 1400 additional accommodations will be taken up next month.

In the power sector, the progress of various multipurpose hydroelectric projects were reviewed including Pakal Dul, Kiru, Kwar, Shahpur Kandi, and Ujh; which was found satisfactory. Acknowledging the potential of small hydroelectric projects in meeting the local electricity and irrigation demands in a decentralized manner, Dr. Mehta insisted on their dedicated development through suitable intervention from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

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