NEW DELHI, Sept 8: Jammu & Kashmir Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs and Information & Public Relations, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh here today and discussed wide range of issues related to development as well as some of the immediate problems faced by the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri.
Zulfkar Ali gave Dr Jitendra Singh an update about the progress of various Central schemes and projects in his Ministry as well as in other sectors in general. He said, with the support of Modi Government, the development activity has received an impetus and as the situation gradually returns to normalcy, the benefits of development will be realized in full measure. He also gave a resume of the various flagship programmes including the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
Making out a special case for districts Poonch and Rajouri , Zulfkar Ali requested for expediting the process of rehabilitation of the victims of shelling along the LoC. He also requested for initiating the work on Rajouri-Poonch railway line.
According to Zulfkar Ali, the four-laning of Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch road including the Jammu-Akhnoor-Nowshera-Rajouri-Poonch NH-144A was approved by the Modi Government in 2015 and the same project has also been included in Prime Minister’s Development Project announced on 7th of November 2015. However, the work is yet to start, he lamented. He also made a plea for increasing the employment opportunities for the people of the region.
Dr Jitendra Singh gave a patient hearing to Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali and said that he would put forward the issues raised by him before the concerned Ministries, like Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. However, he suggested that the State Government should get into a more activated mode and try to fast-track the works which have already been approved and for which even the funds have been sanctioned by the Central Government.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Modi Government is very liberal in offering all kinds of support, both financial and otherwise, to peripheral states of Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast, but it is up to the respective State Governments to make the best use of this patronage. He regretted that even though the highest ever package of Rs.2,800 crore was sanctioned by the Central Government for the construction of PMGSY roads, but the executing authorities in the J&K State have been unusually slow in initiating the works.
Emphasizing the need to fast-track construction of roads sanctioned through Central Roads Fund (CRF) by the Government of India and rural electrification under “Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana” (DDUGJY), Dr Jitendra Singh said, whereas in the rest of the country, the timelines have been fixed and most of the targets will be achieved by 2019, it is a matter of concern that the pace has been unusually slow in Jammu & Kashmir. Even though there may be certain reasons for delay in the militancy-affected areas, he said, at least in other areas, the development works should be seen to be moving at a faster pace.