J&K Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Tuesday expressed concern over non-adherence to curtailment schedule by Power Development Department (PDD) in Kashmir. He directed the Power Development Commissioner to strengthen the transmission system so that requirement of power in peak hours is ensured.
"Curtailment schedule has to be strictly adhered to. The department should run a drive against misuse and pilferage of power so that it is judiciously used," he said, while emphasizing upon strengthening the enforcement wing of the department.
It was decided in the meeting that PDD must strictly implement the notified schedule of load shedding by an eight-hour cut in non-metered areas and a three-hour cut in metered areas so that people do not face any hardship in the event of unscheduled power cuts.
The Chief Minister directed officials to ensure release of State share of funds under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes to districts to enable Deputy Commissioners to access the central share of funding for achieving both physical and financial targets fixed during the District Development Board (DDB) meetings.
Since 50 per cent of Rs 6000-crore kitty under CSSs has been earmarked for education sector alone, he also passed instructions for approaching MHRD to convene its meeting of the Project Approval Board (PAB) so that funds under RashtriyaMadhyamikShikshaAbhiyan (RMSA) and SarvaShikshaAbhiyan (SSA) are sanctioned at the earliest.
The Chief Minister issued these directions while chairing a high-level meeting to review implementation of decisions taken in the DDB meetings, stock position of essential supplies and commodities, solid waste management plans and flood protection measures, an official spokesman said.
Minister for Finance & Culture, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon, Director General, Information & PR, Zaffar Ahmad, Development Commissioner Power, GulAyaz, besides DCs and HoDs of Kashmir valley attended the meeting.
The Chief Minister was informed that out of the 223 DDB decisions, 59 have been implemented while 163 are at various stages of implementation. It was given out that 112 snow-clearance machines have been deployed and buffer stocks of 1 lakh ton food-grain and 1 lakh LPG cylinders are available to meet the demand in the peak winter season.
Referring to the colossal damage inflicted by the devastating floods of September 2014, the Chief Minister said that flood prevention measures have become imperatively necessary to avert loss of life and property in future. He referred to the component of funds earmarked for flood protection and management under the Prime Minister's Development Package announced recently.
According topmost priority to the flood management initiative of the government, Mufti Sayeed instructed I&FC Department to firm up a 'Comprehensive Flood Management Plan' which factors in all the elements required to not only substantially increase the carrying capacity of the rivers and spill-over channels but also takes care of the fortification of river banks, the spokesman said.
"The Plan should be prioritized so that it is placed before the Cabinet for consideration at the earliest," he said, emphasizing that the allocation of resources for achieving this objective would not be a constraint.
While taking district-wise review of the progress made in implementation of various CSSs, Mufti was informed about the non-release of Central share under SSA and RMSA by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) because of the delay in holding of PAB meeting.
The Chief Minister directed Education Department to take immediate measures for expediting the release of Central share under RMSA and SSA so that funds earmarked could be optimally utilized.
"Mufti Sayeed noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in implementation of MNREGA, particularly after convergence by linking it with other sectors. However, he also registered his concern on low levels of expenditure, keeping in view the limited working season in Kashmir Division as only one quarter is left in the current financial year," the spokesman said.
While taking review of the health and education sectors, Mufti Sayeed stated that given the paucity of resources, a portion of under-construction sub-district hospitals could be made functional to provide the required healthcare services. He also asked DC Ganderbal to expedite the transfer of land with Animal Husbandry Department to the Central University in lieu of the land to be provided by the university.
Following up on the Cabinet decision which sanctioned Rs.29.50 crore for realignment of houseboats in the Dal Lake, the Chief Minister was informed by VC LAWDA that 380 houseboats will be shifted and aligned at Doldum with 76 adjusted in each of the five bays by undertaking land and shoreline development as well as providing sewer connectivity.
On the issue of slow progress of work on development of Rakh-e-Arth Housing Colony for Dal dwellers, the Chief Minister suggested a policy revisit with regard to providing housing accommodation to the dislocated families to ensure construction of uniform structures and development of colony by providing all basic amenities, besides addressing their livelihood issues.
While briefing the Chief Minister about the drainage project being executed by National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Deputy Commissioner Srinagar said against approved allocation of Rs 130 crore, only Rs 90 crore have been released so far.
The Chief Minister was assured that the remaining part of the allocation under drainage sector for Srinagar city will be released shortly under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT).