11 lakh houses to get piped water with budget of Rs 10,400 cr

10 Ministers visit Jammu, trip of 3 cancelled

Development, 370, 35-A, airports major issues

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Jan 21: Ten Union Ministers today visited different parts of Jammu region, most in the rural areas spreading message of developmental works initiated by the Central Government post abrogation of special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and conversion of the erstwhile State into the Union Territory and explaining to the people the benefits of the decisions taken by Narendra Modi Government on August 5.
A total of 13 Ministers were scheduled to visit Jammu region on Day 4 of public outreach programme of the Central Government in Jammu and Kashmir today, but three of them couldn’t reach the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.

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Officials told the Excelsior that Surface Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was scheduled to visit Rajouri, didn’t reach Jammu while Union Minister for Social Justice Thawar Chand Gehlot and his deputy Krishan Pal Gurjar, who had to visit Surankote and Mandi towns respectively in Poonch district, had to return from Rajouri as their chopper was unable to fly beyond that because of adverse weather conditions.
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat visited remote Nagrota Panchayat of Barnoti block in Kathua district and interacted with people on issues of development.
Addressing the gathering, Shekhawat said: “Till Article 370 was abrogated, none talked about development in Jammu and Kashmir and only political issues were raked up. However, after imposition of Governor’s Rule in J&K in June 2018 and later scrapping of Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government, the administration and the people are talking of only development’’.
Shekhawat declared that with the completion of Ujh Multipurpose and Shahpur Kandi Barrage projects, excess water flowing to Pakistan will be stopped and all this was possible because of the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The Modi Government had launched ‘Jal Mission’ to give piped water supply to every house,’’ the Jal Shakti Minister said.
“With a budget of Rs 10,400 crore, we are in the process of connecting 11 lakh houses in Jammu and Kashmir with piped water supply. We have also kept the target of providing safe drinking water to every house by December 2021 in J&K and we will surely achieve the target,’’ Shekhawat said in another function at Samba.
Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda, who was in Reasi district for second consecutive day today, inaugurated and inspected various development works in the rural areas and had direct interaction with the people on Centrally Sponsored Schemes and works being executed by the Jammu and Kashmir Government.
He told the people that abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A will lead to massive development in the Union Territory as Central and UT Governments have initiated number of projects and works especially in the rural areas in which the Block Development Council (BDC) Chairpersons and Panchayat members including Sarpanchs and Panchs will have major role to play.
Munda inaugurated indoor stadium at Reasi.
He said following reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir, the Forest Rights Act has been made applicable in the Union Territory and its benefits would be visible in the days to come.
Union Minister of State for Surface Transport and Highway Gen (Retd) VK Singh, in his address to a meeting at Udhampur on second day of his visit in the district, said earlier there had been no powers with the Panchayats and the previous Governments used to spend funds directly bypassing the Panchayat members.
However, Gen Singh said, with Narendra Modi Government following imposition of Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir and abrogation of special Constitutional provisions of J&K and bifurcation of the erstwhile State into two Union Territories, holding elections for Sarpanchs and Panchs and then the Chairpersons of the Block Development Councils (BDCs), the works are being executed through Panchayats.
“The BDC Chairpersons as well as Sarpanchs and Panchs have been given immense powers and works in the rural areas were being executed through them,’’ Gen Singh said, adding the demands projected by the Panchayat members were being given due weightage by the Government as well as the administration.
He said Jammu and Kashmir has started march towards development taking the people into confidence.
Union Minister for Youth Services and Sports Kiren Rijiju interacted with people and addressed gathering in Jammu in which he stated that Article 370 was the “biggest obstacle” in the development of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the future of the Union Territory is bright and its youth can now have a dream to “touch the sky”.
“We are here to act like wings for the youth to fulfill their dream and the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to take the region to the new heights of development and progress,” Rijiju said.
He said the momentum of the developmental activities witnessed “three to four times increase” after the nullification of Article 370.
“The future of Jammu and Kashmir is bright and the younger generation is lucky and can have a dream to touch the sky,” he said.
Rijiju said Article 370 was the “biggest obstacle and was standing like a wall” in the way of development of Jammu and Kashmir.
“After its abrogation, the speed of development has increased by three to four times. If the development continues like this, I believe that Jammu and Kashmir will be the most developed region of the country in the near future,” he said.
Rijiju said he is on a two-day tour of the UT and “will look at how my Ministry will contribute in the developmental progress”.
The Minister said had successive Governments carried forward “such type of development as it is happening today”, Jammu and Kashmir would have touched great heights.
“Better late than never…Article 370 is gone and the Prime Minister’s Development Plan for the UT will set an example not only for the country, but the entire world to see,” he said.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Labor and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar visited Ramban district and inaugurated Power Receiving Station at Chanderkote, Fruit and Vegetable Market at Batote and addressed the people.
Gangwar described as “very Intelligent’’ the decision taken by the Central Government headed by Narendra Modi for abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A saying not a single incident of firing has taken place after this.
“Security situation in entire Jammu and Kashmir is fully under control. Those in search of vitiating peaceful atmosphere of J&K are getting no opportunity to do so in view of strong Government and administration at the helm,’’ he said and added that the Government was itself reaching doorsteps of the people.
“The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is going on right track of peace and development with cooperation of general public,’’ Gangwar said and assured the people that the Government will leave no stone unturned to develop tourism in the UT. He also announced implementation of EPF provision in J&K in letter and spirit.
Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, who visiting Jammu for second time during public outreach programme of the Central Government, said Modi Government during last five years have taken all possible measures to increase the income of farmers and poor but said the issues pending for last 70 years can’t be addressed in seven days and will take time. However, he added, Modi Government has expedited work on all pending issues including development projects.
“The Government has taken number of steps like e-tendering which have resulted into transparency and ended the corruption,’’ he said regretting that earlier the funds were spent on whims and fancies of the officials and Panchayat representatives were not taken into confidence.
Thakur said the Government and administration have been made accountable.
“I will come again here and take report from the administration on progress of development works,’’ he said.
Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri announced construction of eight new Airports in Jammu and Kashmir including four at Akhnoor, Chhamb, Udhampur and Rajouri giving more connectivity to the people at different places.
Puri said concerted and serious efforts are being made for development of Jammu and Kashmir by the Central and J&K Governments.
“The Government is committed to develop Jammu and Kashmir for which numerous innovative steps are being initiated and they are yielding tangible results. Number of projects are being executed which will reduce developmental deficit in the Union Territory,’’ Puri said while addressing the people at Sunderbani in Rajouri district.
Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Communications, Electronic and Information Technology Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre conducted the public outreach camp at Kalakote in Rajouri district and highlighted various schemes of the Central Government in Jammu and Kashmir. He declared that the Government is committed to ensure all-round development of the people of J&K and current visits of the Ministers is part of the initiative to take efficient governance to doorsteps of the people.
Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Pratap Chandra Sarangi said the Central Government is striving hard to promote technology, trade and tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Minister inspected construction of bunkers along the border areas in Kathua district and listened to problems faced by the border dwellers.
He announced formation of Pashmina Shawl Clusters in J&K which will benefit 260 families.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Kailash Choudhary inaugurated development projects in the border district of Samba and interact with people at Raya Morh in Vijaypur area of Samba district.
Addressing, Choudhary said the policies of the Central Government post abolition of Article 370 for development of Jammu and Kashmir, will probe a game changer in terms of development in the Union Territory.
“The new schemes for development of Jammu and Kashmir including sanctioning of Medical Colleges, Educational institutions and strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions are bound to usher into new era of progress and development in Jammu and Kashmir,’’ he said.