LoC Traders Hail CM For Taking Up Banking, Telecom Facility Issues With GoI

25 June 2015
Rising Kashmir
Syed Amjad Shah

Jammu: Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed has been lauded for his maiden board meetings in twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri wherein he vowed to boost cross LoC trade with Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) traders and effective implementation of centrally sponsored schemes. 'It's a welcome step if the government is pursuing demands of LoC traders for the benefit of the trade,' said Sheraz Khan, prominent Cross LoC trader. Khan said we have learnt that Mufti government has talked to Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs regarding banking and telecom facilities on the LoC at Chakkan-da-Bagh in Poonch and Salamabad in Baramulla. He said the government has accepted most of the demands. However, these demands are yet to be implemented. Khan was referring to a statement of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed saying he has taken up the issues with MHA and MEA so that it is discussed in the Joint Working Group meeting between India and Pakistan. He said, 'Our main demand was for a full body scanner. It would also be beneficial for the security personnel to check the trucks loaded with the tradable goods.' The Cross LoC trader said it would be a welcome step if banking and telephone facility is provided on LoC for traders of this side. 'PaK traders have been given facilities by their authorities to contact any time with the traders of this side. But we cannot contact them. This is also one of the major concerns of the traders who have been facing problems,' alleged Khan. Hailing Mufti's interest in boosting the cross LoC trade, he said, the traders have hopes with the present coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. Even as some people were unhappy with the board meeting for allegedly neglecting remote areas, a prominent youth leader and social worker Tazim Dar the amount which was sanctioned for Rajouri district in the board meeting was almost double from the previous amount which shows the seriousness of the government for the development of the border district. Dar said many projects were still hanging in balance in the district which needed special attention of the government. Fortunately, he said, the CM listened to the demands and concerns of the people in the board meeting and sanctioned Rs 1 crore for the development of the municipal limits of the district in addition to the Rs 197.94 crore for the district. Earlier Rs 197.94 crore Annual Plan for Rajouri district was approved in the board meeting and a capital plan outlay of Rs 173.16 crore for district Poonch was passed. Dar said the meeting also gave directions to complete the incomplete road in Rajouri. 'As compensation was not given for the construction of road, it was getting delayed. However, the CM was concerned and he directed authorities to give compensation and complete the road in the town,' said Dar. Besides he said, an important decision to complete the road from Rajouri-Thanamandi-Bafliaz was also taken as it was pending since long and previous governments had ignored it. Similarly a community hall, he said, was not being constructed from last 10 years. With the initiative of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, he said, the dream of the people would be completed. He also welcomed steps like ITI at Kotranka (Rajouri). Regarding Mughal Road, he said, the Chief Minister has sanctioned Rs 10 crore for maintenance of the alternate highway to Kashmir. Talking to Rising Kashmir, Rajesh Gupta president Beopar Mandal, Rajouri said the Chief Minister listened to all the representatives in the meeting. For incomplete road in Rajouri, he said, the CM kept Rs 1 crore at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioner. 'I think the amount was less to meet the requirement of the town. It should be doubled to meet the requirement in the municipal limits,' he added. He further said many issues were addressed in the first ever board meeting but the town needs a garbage disposal mechanism in Rajouri. 'The trucks of municipal committee loaded with garbage from Rajouri go to Sunderbani for disposal for which lakhs of rupees are being spent,' he said. He said this money can be saved only by opening a garbage treatment plant in Rajouri. Referring the local issues, he said, local representatives have highlighted their concern over the bad condition of roads and bridge near Hospital to Degree College and it was given due attention by the Chief Minister. The board meeting of twin border districts has decided to release funds for completion of Nowshera College, work on roads with BRO and PWD to be expedited; forest clearance issues to be sorted out, resolving the issue of land compensation to make Abdullah Bridge in Rajouri functional, Rs. 1 crore placed at disposal of DC Rajouri for development of Rajouri town, ITI to be established at Kotranka, Darhal in Rajouri, completion of Community Hall at Rajouri, Rs. 3.00 crore for facilitating completion of Mini Secretariat, Poonch, Development of Park at Jallian, near Buda Amarnath, Mandi, Development of Krishan Chander Park, at Poonch by Tourism Department under heritage tourism, Development of Poonch Fort, Surankote and Mendhar Girls' Higher School to be developed as Model Schools, Examining viability for revival of Cement Plant at Sathra, Mandi, feasibility for ropeway from Loran to Tosha Maidan, taking up reconstruction of 132 KVA Transmission Line from Draba to Chandak on new alignment, renovation of Town Hall, Poonch as Heritage building, and the work on construction of Sakhi Maidan-Kalai Road, Mendhar, to be taken up under NABARD.