Examiner Bureau| Srinagar:
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today laid stress on opening up of areas and improving communication between people to minimise their difficulties and improve their economies.
Interacting with people here today during her public outreach programme, the Chief Minister stressed the need for construction of the tunnel on Razdan Pass on the Bandipore-Gurez road to make the area accessible to rest of the Valley throughout the year. She also underscored the need for opening of Gurez-Astoor road on the LoC which she said would help a great deal in soaring up the local economies and minimising the difficulties of people living in these areas.
Mehbooba Mufti also underscored the need for improving road network for and within Gurez Valley to let people connect with each other. She also directed the administration to expedite the process of extending mobile connectivity to the area to remove the communication gap between people here and rest of the State.
Responding to the local demands, the Chief Minister said that she would send a consultancy group to Gurez to assess the development needs and economic potential of the area. She said the staff in health and educational institutes would be strengthened and facilities improved. Also, allied facilities like accommodation, recreation facilities etc would also be raised in Gurez to incentivize the stay of staff, particularly during winters, she added.
Mehbooba Mufti said her Government has increased the compensation for affected families of Kishen Ganga project considerably and the Government would pursue with Centre for the engagement of local youth with NHPC on the said project. She said Gurez valley has immense potential for tourism and her Government would take steps for tapping this potential which would rejuvenate local economy.
The Chief Minister, on the occasion, distributed cash relief among the fire sufferers of the area whose houses were gutted in fire incidents. She directed proper rehabilitation of these fire sufferers and directed the district administration to put them in rented accommodation for winter months for which the Government would pay. Also, she asked the Deputy Commissioner, Bandipore to identify land in the town for the proper rehabilitation of these fire victims.
During her stay at Gurez, a number of deputations from Tulail, Chakwali, Achoora, Abdullian, Kanzalwan etc met the Chief Minister and apprised her of their difficulties. The Chief Minister assured them to look into their difficulties on priority.
The deputations sought special recruitment drive for the area, augmentation of health facilities, market support to local produce, bus service from Dawar to Tulail, construction of helipad at Neru and Chakwali, upgradation of various schools, extension of scooty scheme for girls, sports infrastructure, introduction of new trades at the local ITI, setting up of handicraft centres, availability of solar lights and construction of several link roads.
The deputations thanked the Chief Minister for introducing air service to Gurez which they said has come as a great relief to people of the area. They demanded an extension of more such facilities, particularly in the communication sector.
Minister for R&B, Naeem Akhtar; Deputy Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Nazir Ahmad Khan(Gurezi); former MLA, Faqir Muhammad Khan; officers of district administration and a large number of people were present on the occasion.
Earlier on her arrival at Dawar, Mehbooba Mufti was accorded a warm reception by people. People standing on both sides of the road greeted the Chief Minister with buntings and flags.