Identified development works to get boost
*5 Union Ministers visit Jammu on last day of outreach
JAMMU, Jan 24: All 34 Ministers who visited the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir during week-long public outreach programme launched by the Central Government which concluded today will submit their report on issues raised by the people during their interaction programmes at the grass-root level to Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the Republic Day celebrations.
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On last day of the public outreach, five Ministers visited different parts of Jammu region inaugurating developmental works, interacting with Block Development Council (BDC) Chairpersons and Panchayat members, local people and officers and listening to the issues raised by them. They included Prahlad Joshi, Giriraj Singh, Krishan Pal Gurjar, Rameshwar Teli and Faggan Singh Kulaste.
Official sources told the Excelsior that 36 Ministers were scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir from January 18-24 for the public outreach programme to explain to the people about development works which will gain momentum following August 5 decisions by the Centre to scrap special Constitutional provisions of J&K and bifurcate the erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh but two of them were unable to reach here including Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Social Justice and Empowe-rment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.
Gadkari couldn’t visit his assigned district of Rajouri due to preoccupation in New Delhi while Gehlot didn’t reach Poonch due to bad weather conditions.
“All 34 Ministers will now submit comprehensive separate reports on their visits to Jammu and Kashmir to Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the Republic Day celebrations on January 26 listing the issues raised by the BDC Chairpersons, Panchayat members, common man and the administration,” sources said.
They added that since motive of the Central Government behind the public outreach programme was to give further boost to development works in Jammu and Kashmir as it was now a Union Territory, the Ministry of Home Affairs would refer to the UT Government the works identified by the Ministers during interaction with Panchayat members and locals, to take them up at the earliest and complete pending works within the fixed timelines.
“The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was regularly monitoring the visit of Central Ministers to Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.
Describing the public outreach programme as “highly successful”, sources said the Centre was likely to carry out Phase-II of the programme after completion of by-elections to over 13,000 vacancies of Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir which were scheduled to be held in February-March and an announcement of the polls was expected anytime now.
In second phase of public outreach, according to sources, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah could also visit Jammu and Kashmir.
Almost all 10 districts of Jammu region were visited by the Union Ministers during the public outreach with majority of them touring far off areas to assess problems of the people and pace of development works post August 5 Central decisions.
At least eight Cabinet Ministers visited J&K during the public outreach. A total of 10 Cabinet Ministers were scheduled to visit the UT while two others couldn’t make it due to different reasons.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi today visited Koteranka in Rajouri district and addressed the gathering comprising the BDC Chairpersons, Panchayat members and local people and listened to the issues raised by them. He inaugurated developmental works including newly constructed 17 kilometers Mandir Galla to Tarkassy PMGSY road and reviewed pace of ongoing projects with the administration. He also laid foundation of other projects.
In his address, Joshi said the Central Government is committed for equal development of all areas of the country without any discrimination. The focus is on providing best services in health, education, transport and core sectors, he added and listed the steps being taken for this.
Joshi said the Government Medical College (GMC) Rajouri will be made functional shortly benefiting the people of three districts including Rajouri, Poonch and Reasi. He added that 958 doctors have been recruited in the Union Territory during last just 40 days.
“For strengthening democracy at grass-root level, as many as 29 Government services are being brought under the Panchayati Raj Institutions,” the Union Minister said, adding the conduct of BDC elections in J&K will ensure proper utilization of funds for execution of various developmental works.
He announced that all provisions of 73rd Amendment will be implemented in J&K at the earliest.
Union Minister of State for Steel Faggan Singh Kulaste today visited forward area of Mankote located close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district and addressed a function in which he lauded courage displayed by the local people while living in the border areas.
“People of the border areas have been doing yeoman’s services by giving full cooperation and support to Army, Police and Central Forces,” Kulaste said.
He also inaugurated some projects and reviewed pace of others.
Responding to local demands, Kulaste said that all issues raised by the Sarpanchs would be taken up with the concerned authorities for addressing them at the earliest. He assured that the Government Girls Middle School Mankote would be upgrade to high school level while the demand for Women College and Community Health Centre will also be taken up with the authorities.
Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar on Day 2 of his visit to Poonch district inaugurated newly constructed Tourist Cafeteria at Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) Poonch and listened to the people’s problems at Dak Bungalow.
He presented financial assistance to five BPL girls and pension orders to others.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Giriraj Singh today visited Mantalai in Chenani tehsil of Udhampur district and interacted with the Panchayat members, local people and civil administration.
He inaugurated development works.
Addressing the gathering, Giriraj said that purpose of conducting outreach programme is to assess the progress on the implementation of Government schemes on the ground and get feedback from the public. He added that the Central Government is committed to the development of Union Territory of J&K and listed projects sanctioned for strengthening its health, education, road connectivity and infrastructure base of other vital sectors.
“Government has sanctioned 7 Medical Colleges and 2 AIIMS within period of 5 years for J&K” he said and added that these facilities are bound to improve patient care in the UT.
The Union Minister also highlighted the role of Panchayat Raj Institutions, (PRIs) saying that the Government has duly empowered PRIs and they are acting as bridge between Government and public.
Later, Giriraj inaugurated a tourist cafeteria in the area and asked the management to serve local organic products to the tourists. He also asked the Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal and Sheep Husbandry department to explore the use of cow dung in candle making and other useful products, so that farmers get good value.
He also paid obeisance at the holy Shiv Mandir at Sudhmahadev and prayed for peace and prosperity of country.
Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameshwar Teli on Day 2 of his visit to Ramban district reached village Kanthi and met delegations and individuals to listen to their issues.
Teli gave patient hearing to the delegations including the BDC Chairpersons and Sarpanchs. He also visited Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Project and stressed for taking steps to enable local people to reap benefits of the mega project. He also called for taking up the Local Area Development.