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Foundation of Rs 3113 Cr BHEP-II laid
Omar rules out early assembly polls
`NC, Cong on same page to ensure development’
CHANDERKOTE (RAMBAN), Sept 8: The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Sunday dispelled all speculations regarding early assembly elections in the state adding that the people voted NC-Congress coalition government to power and it would complete its full term of six years.

“Some people spread speculations about early assembly elections in the state. People have voted us to power which we are not going to relinquish before the due date,” he said and maintained that the government would complete its full term of six years.

Omar was addressing a public gathering after laying foundation of Rs 3113 Cr Baglihar-II project in the state sector.

On August 31, the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during one-day convention of JKPCC for Jammu province had hinted at early assembly polls. He had also hinted that Congress was likely to go alone in the election arena.

Stating that NC and Congress were on same page to protect and strengthen state’s secular democratic credentials, ensure inclusive development equitably in all regions and sub-regions of the state, fortify the bonds of amity and brotherhood between various sections of the society and work for peace and all round development of the state. He said that the joining of hands by NC-Congress was not for power but to serve the people in accordance to their aspirations and achieve a prosperous, secular and peaceful Jammu and Kashmir.

The Chief Minister said that some people wanted to weaken the bonds of coalition between NC and Congress in the state for their vested interests. He said that the ill designs of these people would not succeed. He said the events and disturbance in 2008 affected National Conference and the Congress equally because both were champions of solidarity, democracy and unity of all the regions and sections of the society, and the attempt in 2008 was to weaken the people’s faith in secularism, unity and brotherhood. He said both the parties were committed to the welfare and holistic development of the state and the coalition government in the state was working in tandem and togetherness to achieve the stupendous task.

Omar also mentioned the attempts by some elements to flair up communal tension in Kishtwar and said that forces behind such incidents were surviving on hatred. He asked the people to maintain the traditional brotherhood and isolate the forces behind dividing the society in the name of region, religion, creed, caste and colour.

The Chief Minister related financial autonomy of the state with the indigenous generation of surplus power and its export to the neighbouring states.

“We have 20,000 MW capacity of generating hydro electric power in the state and the coalition government has already prepared a roadmap of producing 9,000 MWs within next some years,” he said elaborating that this initiative would not only help to meet the energy requirements of the state but export a good chunk of it to the neighbouring states to earn remunerative finances for the development of the state.

Omar said that he wanted to achieve financial autonomy of the state and relieve it for being constantly dependent on the central assistance for funds for development purposes. He said that the present financial status of the state was grim.

“We have total annual income of only Rs 6500 Cr from all sources while we have to pay Rs 13500 Cr salary to employees, Rs 2000 Cr to pensioners and our electricity loss amounts to another Rs 2000 Cr annually. In this situation we have to remain totally dependent on central assistance,” he said and thanked UPA government for extending all help to the state and said that if God forbid there would be a government at the Centre unfriendly towards Jammu and Kashmir, the state would be in deep trouble.

“In order to safeguard the economy and financial position of state, we have to focus on harnessing hydro electric potential of our rivers and make the state independent of financial stress,” he said.

Referring to the development programmes, the Chief Minister said that schemes and projects started during the tenure of the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had been completed by his government and new projects in all the sectors had been launched to help develop Jammu and Kashmir in a comprehensive manner. He also referred to the historic initiatives taken by his government to empower people and reduce the chances of corruption in the state particularly at the lower level confronted by the common and poor people.

Omar said that implementation of Public Services Guarantee Act bringing about 70 services of 13 departments under its ambit for time bound delivery, was an historic Act to give authority to people to demand listed public services within the prescribed time frame. He said any failure or delay on the part of government officials in providing these services to the consumers could make them liable for fine and the consumer entitled for compensation.

The Chief Minister said that construction companies building various projects in the state in different areas including Ramban, Banihal and Chanderkote had been categorically directed to engage local youth in the work. He said that any complaint on this count would be seriously viewed and the erring companies would be taken to task accordingly. However, Omar asked the youth to upgrade their skills by obtaining trainings in ITIs and Polytechnics established in their areas to snatch chances of excuse from these companies regarding non-availability of skilled youth in the area for specified works in the projects.

The meeting was also addressed by Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand, Minister of State for Power Viqar Rasool, legislators Abdul Gani Malik, Ashok Kumar and Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardy.

The Chief Minister also received brief about the Baglihar Electro Hydro Project-II (BHEP-II) at a presentation meeting. He also inspected various units of BHEP-I.

News Updated at : Sunday, September 8, 2013
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