Killing of innocents will not change state geography
16 April 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Minister for Housing and Urban Development Mr. Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah today condemned killing of innocent people by militants saying this would not change the geography of the State. ''Spilling the blood of innocent people would not make the state a part of Pakistan or change the reality about its geography'', he said while addressing the largely attended one day conference of municipal workers here today, adding the more they kill innocents, the more it would make people resolute against them. Mr. Shah referred to the selective killings of the ruling party workers and said silencing individuals would not silence the people’s voice. He said lot of blood had been shed over the last 12 years and the time was to stop it and work for providing healing touch and speed up reconstruction. He said many youths that were part of the society were misled in the name of religion resulting in violence and killings. The Minister advised the gun totting youth to shun the path of violence and return to peace. He said Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed the special status in the Indian federal system and described the Accession as having been made on certain principles. He said the State is assured of a distinct identity that would be retained at any cost. He referred to the autonomy report and said it provided solution to the current turmoil. Mr. Shah highlighted achievements of the Government since it took office in 1996 and said healthcare and education sectors were accorded top priority while reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure received importance. He said while the Government was doing its best to extend facilities to people it was expected of them to realise their duties also. He said the limited resources available with the Government were utilised in a planned manner to ensure judicious distribution of funds and uniform development in the different regions of the State. The Minister stressed on institutionalization of work and setting up of self sustained assets by organisations like the Srinagar Municipality. He said in the face of paucity of funds it was necessary to create assets that were income generating. He appreciated the services rendered safaiwallas in keeping the environs clean. He said theirs was a noble job and assured that their grievances including about 2% DA would be looked into. He proposed holding of fortnightly meetings of building permission committee and improvement in sanitation to remove the public grievances on these counts. He also highlighted the urgency of solid waste management on modern scientific lines. Earlier, The Administrator, Srinagar Municipality, Mr. Muhammad Aslam welcomed the Minister and gave an outline of the achievements of his organisation. He said the Srinagar Municipality earned a revenue of 3.89 crore during the last fiscal. This includes Rs. 2 crores from creating municipal assets for rehabilitation of vegetable vendors. He said 203 civic works were completed at a cost of Rs. 2.5 crores during this period. He said 5 self financing schemes were in progress at different places which would increase manifold the revenue sources of the Municipality. These include shopping complexes at Baghi Nand Singh, Hazoori Bagh, Regal Lane and Kawdara and Town Hall at Kawdara. Mr Aslam said speedy redress of public grievances was accorded priority with a municipal control room having been established at the central office to look into and redress these grievances. He said special drive has been launched to demolish unauthorised and illegal constructions which, he said, was being appreciated by people. He said footpaths were also being cleared of vendors particularly in commercial areas like Lal Chowk, Batamaloo and Hari Singh High Street. Car parking spots were established at many places in Lal Chowk, he said. He said following procurement of new vehicles and engagement of more safaiwallas, Srinagar Municipality would introduce second shift for maintenance of cleanliness in the city. He said the Municipality was clearing 350 tonnes of garbage daily. District Development Commissioner, Srinagar, Mr. Abdul Hamid also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, the President, Municipal Employees Union, Mr. Farooq Ahmad Shah presented a memorandum of demands to the Minister.