JAMMU: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today had a whirlwind tour of Jammu City. He visited different works taken up under Smart City projects and meant to add to the beauty and anesthetics of the heritage city.
On the occasion, the Chief Secretary was accompanied by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; Commissioner JMC, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu; MD, Cable Car Corporation; Executive Director, Mabarak Mandi Heritage Society; Jt Commissioner, JMC and many other officers of Police and Civil administration.
Dr Mehta observed that the face of Jammu is going to change for better by June next year. He said that the city is fast changing its outlook and enhancing its value in terms of tourist appeal. He added that the ongoing projects along with those under progress would give a massive facelift to the city and would emerge as a major tourist attraction.
The Chief Secretary visited different project sites taken in hand under Smart City Mission. He took stock of the progress of work and simultaneously passed on several directions for early completion of each of them.
At Mubarak Mandi, the Chief Secretary enjoined upon the officers to throw the completed portions of the heritage buildings open for public by mid December. He asked them to start the cultural and other folk activities in the complex depicting the rich history and traditions of Jammu.
He also asked them to clear the complex from different construction material dumped there. He directed them to improve the landscape of the entire area and clear it of any hurdles or obstructions created during construction work.
On visiting the Tawi Barrage and River Front the Chief Secretary gave strict directions to complete the Barrage by June next year and complete the work on first phase of Tawi River development by then. He remarked that on completion these developmental works would be major tourist attractions in the city.
Dr Mehta also visited the Peer Kho Temple and Bahu Cable Car project. He examined the facilities being provided to the visitors there. He also inspected the site of the Peer Kho Lift and the allied works to be taken in hand there. He called for completing the project within a period of 6 months only.
At Bhag-i-Bahu the Chief Secretary told the Divisional Commissioner to look into the possibility of combining the garden with the adjacent Aquarium. He stated that both the facilities are augmenting each other and should be offered to public as a package. He also went around the fort and temple area and called for taking measures to make it more appealing and developed.
The Chief Secretary visited other projects like Multi-level parking at Panjtirthi and other ongoing developmental works in and around the city. He recalled that dozens of projects were completed in the past couple of years which along with the progressing ones are going to make Jammu one of the best places in the country.
The CS also asked for opening of Jambo Zoo to public in the month of January itself. He further mentioned that the Semi-Ring Road project would be taken to its final completion in the month of April. He observed that these would be a major step towards making Jammu city more vibrant, citizen-friendly and congestion-free.
He recounted that projects like newly developed General Bus stand, Multi-level Car Parking cum Commercial Complex, Vertical Garden from DograChowk to KC Chowk, Jammu-Akhnoor Expressway having the longest flyover in J&K, Beautification of bridges, PRASAD Lighting of different religious complexes, introduction of electric buses, and other projects of city landscaping and beautification are going to make Jammu the most vibrant cities of the country.
The Chief Secretary was informed that the Tawi Riverfront phase-I is going to be completed soon followed by Phase-II. It includes construction of embankments/ retaining wall with channelized section 250m wide and for a length of 3.5km on both sides. It was given out that raising of barrage height to achieve adequate water height (ponding) at Gujjar Nagar bridge is also part of it.
It was further revealed that the Library cum Cafeteria at Mubarak Mandi is being completed at a cost of ₹ 3.29 Cr by JSCL and is going to be completed by May, 2023. It includes developing the space on the heritage characteristics, developing building Interiors, Providing heritage furniture, proper illumination for exterior and interiors, upgradation of the front court as a sitting area, provision of firefighting, Air conditioning besides other facilities.
Pertinently, the JSCL is developing Tawi River front on the lines of the Sabarmati riverfront in Gujarat. The project is aimed to enhance the aesthetic value of the River Tawi by enhancing natural purifying capabilities, as well as promoting environmental and urban infrastructure sustainability.
The 7 KM long river front is proposed to be completed in 2 phases. The first phase starts from 4th bridge to Main Tawi Bridge and phase 2 from Main Tawi Bridge to Gujjar Nagar Bridge. Pathways would be constructed on both the sides (banks) of the river to provide easy access to the public, the CS was informed.
Initially work on 2.7 km from Bhagwati Nagar Barrage to VikramChowk Bridge has been taken up under the phase I and is going to be completed on time, as was given out on the occasion.