Mehbooba Mufti seeks inclusion of Srinagar, Jammu as smart cities
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and sought inclusion of Srinagar and Jammu among smart cities besides allocation of an additional over four lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains to the state.
Mehbooba and Modi discussed the overall political and developmental scenario of Jammu and Kashmir, a state government spokesperson said in a statement.
This was Mehbooba’s first meeting with the Prime Minister since she became Chief Minister of the restive state. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues concerning the state.
She urged Modi to favourably consider including the two capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu as smart cities under the ’Smart Cities Mission’, the statement said.
The Chief Minister requested for allocation of an additional 4.30 lakh metric tonnes foodgrains to the state over and above what is targeted under the public distribution system as part of the National Food Security Act, it said.
She also sought Prime Minister’s intervention in expediting the Centre’s nod for continuation of special dispensation of 50 per cent in promotion quota in All India Services—Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service—for state service officers for another five years, beyond December 31, 2013.
This would help the state in meeting the shortage of IAS, IPS and IFS officers.
Governor NN Vohra had in Fabruary sought an urgent decision regarding extension of the special dispensation to provide 50 per cent promotion quota for induction into all-India services for five years beyond December 31, 2013 in the three services.
This special dispensation provides for 50 per cent quota for promotion to these services compared to
33.3 per cent in other states.
”The Prime Minister assured the Chief Minister of Centre’s full support in the holistic development of J&K state,” the statement said.
During the meeting described as a courtesy call, Mehbooba, who assumed charge of the PDP-BJP government on April 4, informed the Prime Minister about her meetings with various cabinet ministers since yesterday including with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, official sources said.
She also sought assistance from the Centre for implementing the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ formulated by the two parties last year. Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister sought to dispel reports about any animosity between local and outstation students at NIT and said her government will ensure security
of all students studying in the Valley.
”They are our children. These are our children. It is our job to provide them security. I am confident they will come back, Kashmir is their home,” Mehbooba said.
”These students have been living there for years. We can’t separate people over an incident. I am hopeful they will come back,” she said.
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who separately met Mehbooba, said the Chief Minister demanded that Jammu and Srinagar cities be included in smart cities project.
”I have told her that it’s under consideration,” he said.
Naidu said during the talks, the issue of National institute of Technology (NIT) students also cropped up and the Chief Minister said every step will be taken to ensure that students are provided safety and security.
Naidu also said that the issue of NIT was not between local and outstation students. “We should try to assure students from other parts of nation studying in Srinagar that they will have a peaceful stay,” he said.
NIT Srinagar has been at the centre of a controversy since April 1 when clashes broke out between outstation and local students following India’s defeat to West Indies in the World T20 Cup tournament.
The situation worsened on April 5 when outstation students tried to take out a march outside the campus but were stopped by the police, leading to violence.