Mired in political controversies ever since he took over reins of state, chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday made a desperate bid to connect with Srinagar by visiting at least 15 places in city.
Despite the inclement weather and water-logging, the chief minister decided to visit interiors of the city, including separatist bastion Jama Masjid, Khanqah-e-Moula in downtown areas, known for violent protests. He started the city tour around 9 o' clock in the morning and continued for the whole day.
A senior government official said Sayeed's visit was aimed at "making on-the-spot assessment of the ongoing work on tourism, pilgrim and developmental projects in the summer capital."
The chief minister visited at least 15 places spread over the length and breadth of the city, which included Hazratbal shrine, Nehru Park, Char Chinari, Sona Lank, Badam Wari, Idgah, Kashmir Haat, Indoor Stadium, Sangarmal, Kashmir Golf Club, Estate Quarters at Pampore, Pantha Chowk and Amar Singh Club.
From shabby electric poles at the Jama Masjid Complex to community-cum-marriage hall, the chief minister passed direction on development issues facing the city. Sayeed also issued directions to vice chairman LAWDA to complete the realignment of houseboats so that these are connected to a common sewerage treatment plant. He reviewed the four-laning of Boulevard-Kralsangri Road.
At the Sangarmal Complex, Sayeed said, "We will organise amusement and entertainment programmes at Sangarmal to make it an ideal destination for people." He visited Press Enclave too to inspect a site for car parking.
The whirlwind tour comes as Sayeed's popularity and expectations from people saw a dip following repeated controversies with the coalition partner BJP on issues like separatist Masarat Alam and Pakistan.
Monday's tour was to reclaim sapping popularity among people in Srinagar, where the PDP, for the first time, won five seats.
The chief minister already has faced more than four days of shutdown over issues like separate Pandit colonies, killing in Tral and Narbal insouth and north Kashmir. There were also violent street protests too.