Basohli-Bani denied district status by Cong-PDP Govt: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh addressing a public meeting at Ramlila Ground, Basohli on Sunday. -Excelsior/Pardeep
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh addressing a public meeting at Ramlila Ground, Basohli on Sunday. -Excelsior/Pardeep

‘Modi Govt taking keen interest in development of this belt’

Avtar Bhat
BASOHLI, Feb 25: Taking a dig at earlier Governments, Union Minister of State with independent Charge of Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh today said, Basohli has been totally ignored by Congress -People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Government while carving out new districts for erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir State.

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Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a public meeting here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said when process for delimitation was started the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at that time had forcefully put the demand before the Delimitation Commission that Basohli -Bani spreading over a huge hilly area be given status of a hill district but this demand was not considered.
He alleged that Basohli was deliberately denied the district status by Congress-PDP combine while BJP was persisting with this demand for last over two decades at that time. “In case of Basohli BJP’s seriousness was evident that in our organizational set up the party had already declared Basohli as a separate district but it is unfortunate that the earlier Governments did not consider the same,” he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said this demand was also put by the BJP before the then PDP and Congress Government at that time but they showed no interest in it and instead gave district status to some smaller districts in Valley whose area is much less than Bani-Basohli, he added.
The Union Minister said besides, Basohli the BJP had put forth the demand for grant of district status to Kishtwar and Reasi for streamlining of administration. But continuing their appeasement policy they took plea that both regions are to be given equal treatment and carved out small districts in Kashmir and left out larger areas of this region, he added.
He alleged that the Delimitation Commission constituted in this regard at that time also betrayed the people of this area. However, BJP accords highest priority to ending this discrimination and our Government is committed to give justice to this hilly belt for which various steps were already taken.
Dr Jitendra Singh said already many steps were taken by Modi Government for development of this hilly belt and geo- tag was given to Basohli painting and Pashmina while Aroma mission has also has been launched in this belt to generate employment and boost the economy of the people.
He said Basohli-Bani has many natural resources and tourist spots which are being given attention.
Dr Jitendra Singh said is Basohli is to be developed as Heritage Town and Aroma Start-up destination in coming years.
Later while addressing a public meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh Basohli is to be developed as heritage town and Aroma startup destination in coming years. On the occasion, a Lavender Awareness programme was also organised.
Dr Jitendra Singh said Basohli was always neglected by the previous Governments, thus the development deficit is still seen in this Kandi Area. After Prime Minister, Narendra Modi took over in 2014, the priority has been to bring the left out areas into the development mainstream so as to end the development deficit syndrome in these areas.
Reiterating the vision of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to create a Viksit Bharat and Viksit Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Government is focused on the poor, farmers, youth Nari Shakti. The poor, farmers, youth and Nari Shakti have been empowered through various Government welfare schemes as this Government believes in ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ mantra, said Dr. Jitendra Singh.
In terms of road and highway development, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, North India’s first ever Cable-Stayed Bridge Atal Setu, J&K’s first inter-State bridge at Keerian-Gandyal etc. have been the cornerstones of development never imagined by anyone.
Dr Jitendra Singh said had Narendra Modi not become the Prime Minister of India in 2014, the Shahpur-Kandi Project would not have been resumed that was stalled from the last 70 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the highest priority to this project as it is the lifeline of this area in many ways, and has the potential to irrigate 4000 acre agricultural land of this area, Dr Jitendra Singh emphasised.
Aroma Mission has been started by our neighbouring States like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. As this constituency has been the birthplace of Purple Revolution in India, Basohli must not shy away from starting the lavender cultivation here as this can increase the income of agriculturists of this area manifold.