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CS bats for meeting housing demands of city-dwellers

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Says under AMRUT 2.0 UTWAP amounting to ₹ 1665.10 cr approved by GoI for 78 ULBs of J&K

Srinagar:  Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today impressed upon the officers of the Housing & Urban Development Department (H&UDD) to come up with a comprehensive policy for meeting the housing needs of the urban population of the UT,  especially that of the twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu, an official press release informed.

It said Dr Mehta was speaking in a meeting to review the progress of flagship schemes implemented by the department here.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, H&UDD; Commissioner SMC; Commissioner JMC besides other concerned officers of the Department.

The Chief Secretary observed that since the population of the urban areas is increasing fast, there is significant rise in demand for housing in cities. He stated that it is imperative on the part of the Department to be alive to this aspect of urban management. He called for saturating the housing demands under PMAY (U) for the benefit of urban poor.

He made out that the unplanned construction of houses in cities is putting a lot of pressure on the already shrinking land resources. In view of it, the Department has the added responsibility of providing affordable and planned housing provisions to people in urban areas. He asked for identifying suitable land for vertical development in the twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu.

Dr Mehta also stressed on further improving the ranks of these cities in terms of cleanliness. He expressed hope that in the upcoming rankings of the cities, both Srinagar and Jammu would fare better and figure amongst the cleanest cities of the country.

He stressed on completing all the drainage and sewerage projects forthwith for enhancing the hygienic conditions in and around the city parts. He advised for exploring the possibility of generating electricity from the STPs to make them self sustainable waste treatment units.

While taking cognizance of the developmental projects he stressed on completing them on time. Regarding the AMRUT 1.0 he asked for finishing the remaining few projects in a month, besides directing that the projects under AMRUT 2.0 be tendered out in a time bound manner.

As far as the Smart City projects in the twin cities are concerned the Chief Secretary asked for enhancing the men and machinery even in night shifts. He underscored that all of these projects are aimed at improving the aesthetics or beautification of these cities so deserves to be executed with all prudence and urgency for all to see and explore it.

He asked for completing the beautification works of Lal Chowk in the first week of August itself, improvement and upgradation of Foreshore Road and Chuntkul by ending August and Riverfront by September this year.

In Jammu, he asked for dedicating the redeveloped Apsara Road to public by 15th of August, Tawi River front with its pondage by the end of this month and take up development of Gandhi Nagar rotary forthwith for enhancing the beauty of this city.

During the meeting the Principal Secretary, H&UDD, Prashant Goyal informed the meeting about all the schemes and projects currently under implementation in the UT.

Giving details he mentioned that the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors Atamnirbhar Nidhi  (PMSVANidhi), Smart City Mission (Jammu/ Srinagar), Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) are some of the main schemes run by the Department.

He further added that out of the 83 projects under AMRUT 1.0 around 78 have already been completed, 2 are going to be completed in this month and rest in the month of September. About AMRUT 2.0 it was said that the Apex Committee of MoHUA has approved UT Water Action Plan (UTWAP) for 153 projects amounting to ₹ 1665.10 Cr for 78 ULBs of the UT covering 99 projects under water supply, 4 projects under Sewerage & Septage Management and 50 under Rejuvenation of water bodies.

The meeting was also apprised that the deadline for PMAY (Urban) Mission has been extended upto 31st December 2024 for completion of sanctioned houses/ projects.

With respect to Smart City Mission the meeting was apprised that it was launched in 2017 with an aim to upgrade city infrastructure and provide better basic facilities to its citizens.

Under this Mission, two cities viz. Srinagar and Jammu have been covered with a project cost of ₹ 3634.00 Cr and ₹3581.89 Cr respectively. A total  of 137 and 124 projects have been taken-up in Srinagar and Jammu Smart Cities respectively, including projects under convergence mode, Smart City funding and PPP Mode.

About SBM (Urban) it was said that the same was launched in 2015. Furthermore the SBM(U) Phase-I aims at elimination of open defecation, scientific disposal of Solid Waste and behavioural change regarding healthy sanitation practices.

Under phase-I, 52232 Individual Household Latrines and 2685 Community Toilets/Public Toilets have been constructed across all ULBs of the UT. Moreover, the SWM component has been carried forward under Phase-II for which an action plan is submitted to MoHUA for ₹ 753.57 Crore for its approval.

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