Mufti launches Ans canal irrigation project

KOTRANKA (RAJOURI) – Promising to put Jammu and Kashmir firmly on the path of development and prosperity, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Tuesday said that the government will immediately develop and use Mughal Road as an alternate highway, as four-laning of Srinagar – Jammu highway will take some time.

Mufti Sayeed was addressing a public gathering after launching the Ans Canal Irrigation Project. This was his first public meeting after taking over as Chief Minister of the State.

Emphasizing upon the holistic development of all the regions by echoing the slogan of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas’, Mufti Sayeed said the Coalition Government will strive to develop Mughal Road as an all-weather alternate highway. “The declaration of Mughal Road as alternate National Highway is in the Agenda of the Alliance of the Coalition Government,” he said and added that efforts are on to throw it open in the next couple of days.

The construction on the Mughal Road, which had started during the PDP-led Government in 2004, connects Poonch and Rajouri districts with Shopian district in the Kashmir valley.

Unveiling his plans for making J&K an elite eco-tourist destination, Mufti Sayeed said the Government will embark on a special promotional campaign to project nature and pilgrim tourism potential of the region. He said he has flagged the demand of the people for establishing an eco-tourism park for recreational activities at Kotranka. He asked the Deputy Commissioner to identify a suitable piece of land for developing the park.

Highlighting the huge potential in the Rajouri and Poonch region in horticulture sector, the Chief Minister said a complete package for commercial farming will be prepared. “I have issued instructions to the Horticulture Department to adopt new technologies and provide incentives to the fruit growers so that they are able to grow fruits like walnut, litchi and apples on a commercial scale in Jammu Division,” he stated.

On the issue of rising unemployment in the State, Mufti Sayeed said the new Government will fast-track filling up of all the posts in State and District cadre in a fair and transparent manner where merit and competence of the aspirants will be the only yardstick for selection.

On the demand raised for establishment of a degree college for women at Kotranka, the Chief Minister said he will get it prioritized by the Higher Education Ministry under the Central scheme of RUSA (Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan).

Referring to the launching of Ans Irrigation Canal, the Chief Minister said the project will provide a major boost to agriculture sector in Kandi area of Rajouri district. “Besides the fillip it will provide to agriculture sector, the project envisages creation of additional employment opportunities for our youth in the project,” the Chief Minister said.

Minister for PHE, I&FC, Sukhnandan Kumar, congratulated the people of Rajouri on the launch of Ans Canal Irrigation Project. He said the Government, with liberal funding from the Central Government, will make J&K a truly developed state of the country.

Minister for CA&PD, Chaudhary Zulfkar, in his address, thanked the Chief Minister for giving a serious consideration for establishing women’s college in the area. “Ans Canal after its completion will change the way farming is done in the area and the dream of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of seeing the commercialization of agriculture sector in the region will be realized,” he said.

Ans Canal Irrigation Project, on its completion, will provide irrigation facility to over 5,000 acre of un-irrigated tract of land which will provide succour to thousands of farmers in Dhar, Sakri, Peeri, Gokhrote, Sankari, Mera, Nagrota, Bindi, Ladote, Kala Kass, Lanka Bari, Dhangri and Baljarallan areas.

Being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 53.99 crore, the project is Centrally-funded under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) and it will have a discharge of 120 cusecs and conductor length of 8319 metres.

MLA Rajouri, Qamar Hussain, MLA Nowshera, Ravinder Raina, MLC, Vinod Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Chief Engineer, I&FC, SSP Rajouri, and several senior officers were present on the occasion.