As a long-term strategy to for conservation of prominent water bodies in the State, including Dal Lake, Jhelum, Chenab and Tawi rivers from pollution hazards, and for the restoration of pristine glory of twin capital cities viz; Jammu and Srinagar, the Government will develop Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) of adequate capacities. Such STPs will also be developed in all major towns and prominent tourist resorts across the State.
Besides, Government will also develop more multitier ultra-modern parking lots in two capital cities and Katra town in order to ensure efficient traffic management. Presently these cities are witnessing huge quantum of traffic flow from within and outside the State, and there is great need for more such facilities to coup with the prevailing situation.
These decisions were taken during the pre-budget consultation meetings of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Tourism, Culture, PWD (R&B), Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs chaired by Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary here today.
To immediately start with the exercise for these projects, the necessary token money was earmarked for the current financial year and rest will be projected in the next year’s budget.
Financial Commissioner, Housing & Urban Development, K.B. Agarwal, Commissioner/Secretary R&B, Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Commissioner/Secretary FCS&CA, Dr Abdul Rashid, Commissioner Secretary Culture, Mohammad Saleem Shishgar along with their team of officers attended the meetings.
While initiating marathon deliberations on the budget proposals of the Housing & Urban Development Department for the next financial year, the Principal Secretary called for prioritizing the above projects and immediately starting work on these physically. He called for submitting viable projects for up-gradation of civic facilities, street lights, lanes and drains and other important facilities for the people. He asked for tangible proposals for the beautification of Jammu and Srinagar cities in view of their importance and stressed the need for effective steps to check that no drainage water flows to the main water bodies which pollute the entire environment of these cities.
In order to address the problem of accommodation for the government departments, the Principal Secretary urged the VCs, JDA and SDA to identify suitable land at some prominent locations to construct multi-storey accommodation to house maximum number of government offices. He also called for judicious use of land and resources.
During the discussions of Tourism and Culture, the Principal Secretary emphasized the need for strengthening the existing infrastructural facilities for the tourists in all prominent tourist destinations to increase the footfall of domestic as well as foreign tourists. He also asked for identification of unexplored tourist destinations, heritage places in all three regions of the State so that these are brought at the tourist map. He said tourism is foremost identity and mainstay of State’s economy and every possible effort must be made for its promotion.
He called upon the Tourism Secretary to workout prospective proposals for the development of this vital sector and asked for evolving new concepts for the promotion of tourism worldwide and launching a massive publicity campaign in the potential States. He also suggested to bring out some credible tourism publicity material in the form of pamphlets, booklets highlighting the significance of various tourist destinations and facilities across the State and arranging their distribution at centres of attraction like airports, railway stations, inter-state bus stands and prominent tourist locations in other States to attract tourists towards Jammu and Kashmir. He also called for promoting adventure, religious, heritage and eco-tourism for which there is great potential in the State. He laid stress on strict adherence of environment norms while undertaking new ventures, adding that degradation of environment and ecology is the cause of concern for everyone and it must be protected at all costs.
The budget proposals of PWD (R&B), Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs were also discussed threadbare and concerned Administrative Secretaries presented their view points on the futuristic requirements to run the affairs of their respective departments.
Issuing common instructions to all departments for curtailing the unfruitful expenditures under various heads, Navin called for generating own revenue for meeting their internal expenditures. He suggested for imposing minor charges on various kinds of services being rendered by the departments.