Development initiatives got huge setback in J&K: Mehbooba

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said the prevailing law and order problem has dealt a “huge setback” to the efforts of her government to upgrade infrastructure in key sectors and stressed on the need for “infusing new life” in the institutions to address the developmental concerns of the public.

“The efforts initiated by the government to upgrade the infrastructure in health, education, power, roads and buildings, tourism and other key sectors and enhance the employability of the youth through various initiatives received a huge setback due to the prevailing law-and-order situation.

“Our focus should be on making up for the losses suffered on the development front. The administration should redouble its efforts in realising the targets on this front and ensuring benefits to the people,” she told a meeting of officers at Town Hall in Budgam in central Kashmir.

Mehbooba visited Budgam to take stock of the situation and reach out to the people.

She asked the administration to expedite the implementation of developmental and welfare programmes.

Asking the officers to “lead from the front” in mitigating the problems of the people, the Chief Minister stressed on the need for infusing new life in the institutions at the “cutting edge level” to address the developmental concerns.

She, however, maintained that peace was imperative for all kinds of economic and developmental activities.

“Many developmental and welfare programmes of the government have come to a standstill and it would be our endeavour to bring them back on track as soon as possible,” said Mehbooba.

Without naming the separatists, she said, “Those trying to fuel repeated unrests in Kashmir must also realise that they are only adding to the tragedies and miseries of the people.”

She claimed that the government was not only responsive to the needs of the people, but also concerned about their problems, adding that her priority was the people and not politics or power.

“As long as I am here, I will spend everyday in mitigating the sufferings of the people,” she said, adding that she would like her officers “to become partners” in this “enterprise of hope” so that the people get to feel the “real change”.

The Chief Minister stressed on the need for strengthening humanitarian action to help the “poorest of the poor” who were the “worst sufferers” of the prevailing law and order situation. “We have to take care of those families whose breadwinners depend on daily earnings,” she said, adding that her government would extend all possible support to them.

She also sought the update on availability of essential commodities, drinking water, electricity and other basic amenities in the district and asked the Irrigation and Flood Control department to ensure that dredging of flood channels was carried out smoothly to safeguard the area from the threat of future floods.