Azad becomes first CM to visit Chingam
24 November 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today became first Chief Minister in 54 years to visit remotest area of Chingam in Doda district to personally take stock of people's development needs. Addressing largely attended public meeting at Chingam, and Bhalessa, the Chief Minister reiterated his commitment to strive for taking development to every nook and corner of the State and seek economic well-being of people living in backward and far-flung areas. Mr Azad said that Government has formulated a comprehensive development policy ensuring equitable progress giving priority to far-flung and hitherto neglected areas. He said that extension and improvement in education sector, construction and upgradation of roads and links, setting up of health centres and expanding medicare facilities in the areas like Chingam is receiving full attention. 'Clear-cut directions have been given to the administration to ensure speedy progress of these areas', he added. Mr Azad said that remote and far-flung villages situated in the lap of beautiful mountain ranges, Valleys and foothills bear vast potential for tourism and horticulture development, adding that both the sectors are being given new dimension. He said creation of three new tourist circuits one of which covers Kishtwar-Chhatroo-Chingam-Simthan, etc. is a significant decision in this direction. Announcing Rs. 20 lakh for tourism development for Chhatroo-Chingam tourist circuit, Chief Minister said that generating tourism activities and launching infrastructure development programmes would create job opportunities for both educated skilled and un-skilled people. Chief Minister on his arrival was given enthusiastic welcome by thousands of people who were vying with each other to have his glimpse. Chief Minister announced upgradation of middle school Chingam to high school and directed the administration to formulate comprehensive and integrated project for development of horticulture, agriculture and allied sectors. He also gave orders for formulating schemes for road upgradation, drinking water augmentation and health cover extension sectors and for provision of other amenities in the area. Later, laying foundation stone of Rs. 14 crore 132-33 KV grid station at Changa in Bhalessa, the Chief Minister said that foundation stones should not become rituals only but work should go unabated till the project is completed in all respects. He gave two years target for the completion of grid station to the concerned construction agency. On completion, the project will ensure reliable and quality power supply to the areas of Doda, Dunadi, Kahra, Bhatyas, Gandoh, Changa, Mankota, Hadal, Kaljugasar, Bunjwah and part of Thathri. Speaking to a huge public meeting there, Chief Minister lauded the role of people for openly exhibiting their faith in democratic set up and participated in bye-elections in record number. Saying that he is fully aware of the development demands of backward areas like Bhalessa, as such, he has continuously deputed ministers and administrative heads to understand the public demands properly and personally and come up with pragmatic solutions. Referring to his programme of personally visiting remotest and far-flung areas, Azad said that he recently visited Turtuk in Ladakh and other such areas to give confidence to the people that Government is responsive to their requirements and development needs. Referring to the development demands of the area, Chief Minister said that power and road projects, schemes for health cover and drinking water have been formulated and are being launched in all areas including district Doda. Minister for Power Nawang Rigzin Jora addressing the meetings, said that under the dynamic leadership of Mr Azad unprecedented cordial relations have developed between Centre and State and for the first time every project being preferred for central assistance receives favourable consideration and proper funding.