Srinagar: Terming Srinagar as the heart of Kashmir Valley, PDP President and Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today said the city has remained and would continue be in the focus of her Party’s developmental agenda for the State.
Addressing the Party workers of Batmaloo and Amira Kadal constituencies here today, Mehbooba Mufti said Srinagar city currently is faced with huge challenges on account of civic infrastructure, housing congestion, heavy traffic, solid waste management and other civic issues. She said her Government is seized of these problems and many mega or micro projects for city’s development have either been initiated or conceptualized.
Specifying, the Chief Minister said just recently she got the Rs. 2100 crore ring road project for Srinagar city approved by the Centre and work on the same would start this year only. Similarly many other big projects which have either ADB or World Bank funding are being started, she said.
Terming peace as pre requisite for undertaking developmental activities, Mehbooba Mufti said she is aware of the difficulties of people of Srinagar, particularly downtown city. She said the people of the Srinagar city maintained peace despite provocations during the unrest of last year which needs to be appreciated. “I know the brunt you bore (during the unrest) as a majority of city dwellers are daily earners who faced difficulties but maintained calm”, she added.
The Chief Minister said she has planned to develop Srinagar city as a tourism destination in itself as it has a rich and varied heritage, shrines, handicrafts, scenic spots and water bodies besides adventure and cultural attractions. Under this plan, she said, old city would be developed as a heritage track showcasing all the features Srinagar city is known for world over. This would mitigate the problem of unemployment among youth to a large extent and give the economy of the city dwellers a boost who don’t have any other means of livelihood, she said.
Mehbooba Mufti said former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had a special love for Srinagar and would often refer to it as his Dill (heart). “During the ten months of his tenure as Chief Minister, Mufti sahib visited the city five times and even the last engagement he undertook was a long tour of the whole city”, she told the workers and expressed her resolve to carry forward this mission of changing the developmental profile of the city in the coming years.
On her Party’s objectives, Mehbooba Mufti said PDP was formed with a definite aim of getting Jammu & Kashmir out of the difficulties it has been in for so long. “You saw a glimpse of that during the three year rule of the Party from 2002 to 2005 when we convinced the national leadership to take many path breaking historic decisions giving people here the relief they were crying for”, she reminded the workers.
“We hope to do so again this time”, she said while appealing people to maintain peace so that not only do the developmental activities carry on smoothly but also the political process to relieve the people from the perennial uncertainty and desolation. She said vote to the candidates of the Party would be a declaration for the agenda of transformation and reconciliation in the State.
Senior Party leader and Chief Spokesperson, Dr. Mehboob Baig in his address said the historic contribution of PDP has been to provide an alternative platform to the people by providing space and voice to the voiceless in the State. He said the Party’s agenda has been set to give relief to the disadvantaged sections of the society.
Senior Party leaders, Education Minister, Syed Altaf Bukhari and MLA, Noor Mohammad Sheikh also addressed the meetings. (KNS)