Centre announces Public Outreach-III Prog by 70 Union Ministers for J&K

Rajnath, Shah, Nirmala to join; entire UT to be covered

Sonowal, Dr Jitendra to lead Phase-I

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, May 23: The Central Government today announced Public Outreach-III by the Union Ministers to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in which almost 70 Ministers including bigwigs like Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari are likely to visit all 20 districts for interaction with the people.
Schedule of the Public Outreach-III is being finalized by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), official sources told the Excelsior.
The Central Government today released schedule of the outreach programme till June 1 while itinerary for the month of June will be finalized in next couple of days.
As per the schedule, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, Waterways and AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal will visit Jammu district on May 31 and June 1 while Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra will be touring South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on May 26 and 27.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and MoS with Independent Charge of Ministry of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences will visit Budgam district on May 30 and 31.
“The tour of Union Ministers will take place from Monday to Friday while Saturday and Sunday will be off days to ease pressure on the Jammu and Kashmir administration,” sources said.
They added that the Ministers will interact with the people, representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), party functionaries and review the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs), works under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) and projects under execution by the Union Territory Government.
While in remaining days of this month, a single Minister will tour Jammu and Kashmir, in the following days i.e. the month of June, two to three Ministers will visit different districts of the Union Territory in a day.
“All 20 districts will be covered under the Public Outreach-III like Outreach-I and II. The Ministers will also visit even tehsil and blocks,” sources said.
All senior Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari and others will also be part of the Outreach-III programme.
On their return, the Ministers will submit their reports to the PMO and MHA.
The Ministers on their return to New Delhi after visiting different parts of the Union Territory during Public Outreach-II in 2021 had submitted reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office last year just like they had done in 2020 when the Public Outreach Programme was first started. The MHA and PMO had forwarded issues raised by the people and pointed out by the Union Ministers in their reports to the Jammu and Kashmir for addressing them.
“Some of the issues which pertained to the Central Ministries were addressed by the Government of India while rest were referred to the J&K Government,” sources said.
Such tours by the Ministers had proved highly successful in the North East also resulting into redressal of public grievances to quite an extent.
In 2020, 36 Central Ministers had visited the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir from January 18-24 and toured several far off areas as well. They had submitted their recommendations to the MHA as well as PMO then and issues raised by the people were addressed by the Central and the UT Governments.
In 2021, nearly 70 Ministers were part of the Public Outreach Programme in September and October.
Besides Ministers, 13 Parliamentary Standing Committees comprising around 300 Members of Parliament (MPs) had visited the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh last year.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had also visited for a week-long tour of Ladakh and Kashmir.