JAMMU: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today reviewed the progress of projects related to the Tawi River Front Development and implementation of the Bharat Net scheme in Jammu and Kashmir.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Rural Development, Housing & Urban Development, Planning Monitoring & Development, Jal Shakti, and Information Technology, besides Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation, and concerned sectoral heads participated in the meeting.
Giving details of the Tawi River Front project, Administrative Secretary, U&DD informed that under phase I of the Tawi River Front Development Project, the 1st 2.7 km stretch from the Bhagwati Nagar Bridge to the Bikram Chowk Bridge, including the central island and riverfronts on both sides of river Tawi will be developed while the 4.3 km stretch beyond the Bikram Chowk Bridge will be taken up under phase II later.
Stating that the project has the potential to give a major facelift to the Jammu city, the Chief Secretary directed the department to speed up the execution of the project so that artificial pondage in River Tawi is created by April 2022.
It was informed that DPR for the phase I project at a cost of Rs. 194 crore has been finalized and the tender is expected to be floated within days.
It was further informed that the project may take one to one and a half year for completion.
Dr Mehta advised the department to explore the possibility of raising the height of the barrage piers to create an artificial pondage in river Tawi up to the Gujjar Nagar Bridge.
Stating that the different works in the project should be done in parallel rather than in the sequential manner, the Chief Secretary advised the department that the impounding of water between Bhagwati Nagar bridge and Gujjar Nagar bridge can be done even as execution of other works like construction of diaphragm wall, retaining wall etc. goes on in parallel.
Dr Mehta asked the department to follow ‘Build and Use’ model wherein as it builds facilities/amenities on River Tawi Front into future, it should try and throw open the facilities it has already built for public use without waiting for the entire project to be completed.
“The department should open the amenities/facilities it builds for public use and should not wait for the whole project to finish before doing so,” he observed.
Laying down the timelines for completion of various activities under the project, the Chief Secretary directed the department to complete the process of allotment of contract by December, 2021 and finish the construction of promenades, including the planned commercial/recreational assets on the River Front within 1-1.5 years.
He asked them to secure early approvals for change in land use and under other regulations like Development Control Regulation Act so that the execution of recreational and commercial projects in the reclaimed area around the riverfronts is not delayed.
While reviewing the implementation of the Bharat Broadband Scheme in Jammu and Kashmir in rural areas, it was informed that 408 Gram Panchayats and 14 Block Headquarters have been provided with reliable internet connection through optical fiber cable while 658 Gram Panchayats have been VSAT enabled for internet connectivity.
It was further informed that 3195 additional Gram Panchayats will be provided with internet connectivity in phase II of the project.
Underscoring the importance of digital inclusion in rural areas, Dr. Mehta impressed upon the Rural Development Department to ensure that net enabled Gram Panchayats function properly, so that they could be used as hubs to connect youth clubs, anganwadi centres and other important public sector installations for awareness/IEC campaigns and for promoting government schemes and programmes.
Dr Mehta directed the Planning Development and Monitoring Department to verify the functionality and efficiency of the internet facilities already established in 1081 Gram Panchayats by holding interactions with the officers either through video conferences or google meet.
Dr Mehta also advised the department to task DSEOs of the concerned districts to physically verify the functionality of internet facilities provided in 1081 GPs.
The Chief Secretary directed the Information & Technology Department to organize public scrutiny of Revenue records under ‘Aap ki Zameen Aap ki Nigrani’ initiative across all digitally connected Gram Panchayats.
Dr. Mehta also laid emphasis on the proper maintenance of digital equipment and machinery and provision of suitable power backup in the Gram Panchayats for hassle free digital connectivity under the Bharat Net.