JAMMU: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting of officers to take stock of different works taken up under Smart City projects and meant to add to the aesthetic appeal of the city.
The meeting was attended by ACS, Jal Shakti; Principal Secretary, PWD; Principal Secretary, H&UDD; Commissioner Secretary, GAD; Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; Secretary Tourism; Commissioner JMC, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu; Executive Director, Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society beside others.
Dr Mehta observed that the face of Jammu should undergo a substantial change by October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti) this year. He emphasised on completion of maximum possible ongoing projects by then. He added that these projects would give a massive facelift to the city and would help it emerge as a major tourist destination in the country.
The Chief Secretary reviewed the pace on different projects taken up under Smart City Mission. He took stock of the progress of work and simultaneously passed on several directions for early completion of each of them.
Regarding the Mubarak Mandi, the Chief Secretary enjoined upon the officers to throw open the completed portions of the heritage buildings to the public. He asked them to start the cultural and other folk activities in the complex depicting the rich history and traditions of Jammu.
The Chief Secretary also asked them to dedicate more restored structures to the public and enhance the overall aura of the complex by landscaping of the complex. He also asked for completing rest of the works by December this year.
The Chief Secretary took note of other projects like development of intersections, Apsara Road Gandhi Nagar, use of ITMS for regulating traffic, illumination of bridges and buildings, development of roads and other infrastructure besides works in and around the city. He recalled that dozens of projects were completed in the past couple of years which along with the progressing ones are going to make Jammu one of the best places in the country.
The Chief Secretary was informed that out of the total of 124 Smart City works, 80 stands completed by now. It was further given out that the work on rest of these projects is going on at a satisfactory pace and are going to be completed within the deadlines set for them.
Earlier in the morning the Chief Secretary visited the Tawi banks to take on spot assessment of the prestigious Tawi Barrage project. He directed for increasing pace of work on this project and target for pondage of the lake before November this year.
He emphasised on completing other allied projects of beautification simultaneously to make it a go-to place for the visitors coming here. He also took e-cycle ride on the newly developed cycle track on the banks of the river and called it good addition to the city infrastructure. He observed that besides providing leisurely experience in an eco-friendly atmosphere it would give opportunity of improving on health of the riders as well.
On the occasion it was revealed that the Tawi Riverfront phase-I is going to be completed soon followed by Phase-II. It includes construction of embankments/ retaining wall with channelized section 250m wide and for a length of 3.5km on both sides. It was given out that raising of barrage height to achieve adequate water height (ponding) at Gujjar Nagar bridge is also part of it.
Pertinently, the JSCL is developing Tawi River front as the most important project for development of the city. The 7 KM long river front is proposed to be completed in 2 phases. The first phase starts from 4th bridge to Main Tawi Bridge and phase 2 from Main Tawi Bridge to Gujjar Nagar Bridge. Pathways would be constructed on both the sides (banks) of the river to provide easy access to the public.