Centre, State on the job; normalcy will be restored in Valley soon: CM


JAMMU, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today expressed confidence that normalcy would soon be restored in the Kashmir valley with the end of current phase of unrest and stone pelting in the Kashmir valley even as she squarely blamed the Election Commission of India (ECI for recent violence reiterating that the Commission decided to hold by-elections in Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha seats against request of the State Government.
Addressing gathering after inaugurating Niki Tawi bridge this morning, Mehbooba Mufti hoped that youths in the Kashmir valley would go to Universities, Colleges and other Educational Institutions instead of pelting stones on security forces and police.
“We hope present spell of unrest will not last long. The youths will focus on their jobs, business and studies. The tourism will flourish again,” she said, adding that the Central Government was fully cooperating with the State to help control unrest and they have extended their every possible cooperation in restoration of normalcy in the troubled Valley.
Flanked by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, Works Minister Naeem Akhter and Health Minister Bali Bhagat, she said the State Government was on the job and the Centre was also assisting them in tackling the trouble and hopefully situation will improve soon and there will be rush of tourists to the Valley.
Squarely blaming the Election Commission of India for trouble in the Valley, Mehbooba said it was wrong on part of them to go ahead with holding by-elections to Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha seats despite strong reasons given to them that this (the by-polls) could revive the trouble in Kashmir.
“We told them (the Election Commission of India) not to order by-elections on two Lok Sabha seats but they paid no heed to our demand and went ahead. We even told the Commission that the people could again take to streets,” the Chief Minister said regretting the Election Commission decision and indirectly holding the Commission responsible for what happened on April 9 in Budgam district on the day of by-election to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. It may be mentioned here that eight civilians were killed in the violence on the day of polling for Parliamentary constituency.
Calling upon the Ministers of the PDP-BJP coalition Government to help bridge gap between two regions of the State-Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said there should be exchange of student and youth delegations from one region to another for frequent inter-actions and exchanges to help them understand each other.
“The students of Universities and Colleges, youths should exchange trips from Jammu to Kashmir and vice versa to know each other closely. This would help bridge the gap between the two regions. The Ministers of coalition Government can play significant role in this direction,” she added.
Lauding the people of Jammu region for maintaining peace despite all odds, Mehbooba said she felt relieved whenever she visits winter capital of the State. She said she feels proud to see Kashmiri youths and other people moving in the City for studies, business purposes etc.
“This is our tradition and it should continue,” she said describing the people of Jammu as very accommodative. She added that whenever there is a law and order problem in the Kashmir valley, the students of Kashmir look towards Jammu and the people here have always adjusted them.
Mehbooba said despite troublesome period in the Valley, the PDP-BJP coalition Government was going ahead with developmental works in the State.
“The development is not suffering and we will not allow it to suffer,” she declared.
In his address, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh said the PDP-BJP Government was taking Jammu and Kashmir towards the path of development and added that all three regions of the State were undergoing equal development for the first time. He said it was the vision of former Chief Minister late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to develop the State and the PDP-BJP coalition Government headed by Mehbooba Mufti was determined to fulfill that dream.
Dr Singh said several development projects have been taken up during two years of the coalition Government and some more were in the pipeline. He lauded support of the Central Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the State Government in development.
Earlier, Mehbooba Mufti inaugurated the 300 metre pre stressed concrete double lane bridge over Nikki Tawi here today.
Built at a cost of Rs. 30 crore, the bridge would connect a population of 60,000 with the main city and the work has been completed in a record time of 13 months.
Mehbooba said her Government has planned the development of Jammu city befitting its historicity and antiquity. She said soon the Bikram Chowk flyover would be thrown open giving the commuters a big relief. Similarly, she said, parking slots are being developed at many spots in the city to decongest the traffic. She said Mubarak Mandi complex would be developed as a heritage site of national standards.
The Chief Minister said she has given categorical directions that the developmental projects should not be spilt over in terms of costs or timeline. “There has been a tendency to keep projects pending for 10-15 years which has to be reversed,” she said adding that she has directed that at the time of laying of foundation stone of a project the completion date should also be mentioned in the plaque itself.
Minister for PWD, Naeem Akhtar in his speech said the need for such a bridge was felt for long and the in time completion of the project reflects the commitment and seriousness of the Government for the development of the State. He also stressed on the need to connect people of the State with each other emotionally, mentally and behaviorally so that the State marches ahead in one voice on the road to prosperity.
Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat in his address thanked the Chief Minister for taking keen interest in the timely completion of the bridge. He said the coalition Government has decided to revolutionize the infrastructure and service delivery in the State.
Former Minister and MLA, Choudhary Sukhnandan also addressed the gathering.
Commissioner/Secretary, PWD, Rohit Kansal; Managing Director, JKPCC, Dileep Thussu; Chief Engineers of several engineering wings and a large number of people were present on the occasion.