Developmental projects got pace after LG’s rule: Dr Jitendra

Meghwal, Chobey visit Samba; interact with people

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Jan 18: Justifying formation of two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, Union Minister of State in PMO with independent charge of North Eastern States, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that all the developmental projects which were in limbo due to the indifferent attitude of previous political dispensation in J&K have got pace after the imposition of Lt Governor’s rule in newly formed UT.

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Addressing the Union Government’s outreach programme here this evening, Dr Jitendra Singh also announced the establishment of three media centres-one each for Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh for facilities to electronic media persons who face problems due to non availability of internet facilities. He said information material will be available for media persons there and they don’t have to set up their own infrastructure. He added the issue was also discussed by him with the Union Minister and he has given his consent.
The Union Minister regretted that the previous dispensation was so unconcerned towards erstwhile development of the State and welfare of its people that works which had been going on were also stopped. In this regard, he cited the example of Rs 190 crore Devika Project in Udhampur whose DPR was delayed constantly.
Likewise, the construction of nine Medical Colleges was announced for the erstwhile State and the foundation of them was laid by former Union Health Minister, J P Nadda three years back and their construction was also delayed but the work is going on with pace on them now.
Making a scathing attack on previous State Governments who discriminated with the people within one regions as well, Dr Jitendra Singh said the three percent reservation was given to the denizens of Line of Control (LoC) while those living on International Border (IB) were deprived of it. “This was done because of vote bank politics. But the BJP does not believe in the same as it is committed to welfare of all irrespective of their region, religion and language”, he added.
He said these parties are answerable to the people that why there was such a discrimination with the people living on the same border in the erstwhile State.
Dr Jitendra Singh said work on bunkers has also been delayed in border areas unnecessarily while no attention was paid in construction of other projects. The contract was terminated on much talked about 850 mw Rattle Hydel Project eight years back and now it has been taken up in hand. Moreover no headway was made on Pakal Dul Project during the previous regimes which has now been approved. Besides, the Note of Warrant is being prepared for Keeru Power Project also, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said in Bhaderwah, the work on High Altitude Herbal Medicinal Research Plant has been started which was delayed despite the fact that its foundation stone was laid last year.
Turning tables on so called champions of ‘autonomy’ and ‘Self Rule’, Dr Jitendra Singh said people should ask them that why the Panchayats were not empowered in J&K for last 72 years and why the Block Development Council (BDC) polls were not held during this long period.
He asked why the people of the erstwhile J&K State were deprived of grass root democracy in last over seven decades by the parties who are talking of autonomy and self rules? What is autonomy and self rule has been taught by Modi Government after conducting free and fair elections for Panchayats, Local Bodies and BDCs,” he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh also announced that 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments will be implemented in J&K and Ladakh UTs soon and money will directly go to Sarpanches and Councilors accounts. The local tax and its funding will be decided by them only, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh assured the gathering that the imbalance in economy and on development front will be eliminated. He claimed that no discrimination was made with any region during last three months of the LG’s rule.
He held previous NC -Congress Governments responsible for delaying Shahpur Kandi Project and allowed surplus water of Ravi river to flow towards Pakistan. He said it was with the intervention of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi that the work has been started on this project and it will be ready within three years. With its completion, the Kandi belt of Kathua and Samba districts will no longer remain Kandi, he added.
He said no headway was made on Ujh Barrage for last 30 years and now survey has been conducted on it how to divert the surplus water to Punjab and Haryana as only 35 percent of the water reserved by the project will be utilized in Kathua and Samba.
Dr Jitendra Singh said there is a discernable change in Kashmir Valley now and huge traffic jams are witnessed on Srinagar cities besides the Sunday markets are abuzz with business activities. “Such change in J&K was witnessed over night that many people got citizenship rights,” he said and added that UT was made with great diligence and research.
“People of the erstwhile State got many benefits as Lakhanpur Toll was abolished, the pay of Government employees was increased within night besides, they were given many benefits. All 800 Central Acts will be implemented in the J&K and OBCs will get their due rights also as applicable in other parts of country”, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that his flight was delayed due to bad weather and he landed at Srinagar where he during a meeting, discussed the revival of HMT Factory, boosting of fruit market and trade.
Addressing the programme, BJP MP Jugal Kishore Sharma said every step taken by Narendra Modi Government was for the welfare of the people of the J&K and Ladakh. Many projects have been sanctioned for two UTs and on some others, work is going on. He added that Centre is committed to development of J&K.
Jugal said within 10 days after the visit of BJP leaders and administration to areas where crops were damaged by unseasonal rains, the Government announced Rs 35 core relief for the farmers and Rs 600 will be deposited per Kanal of land in their accounts. The farmers said that this has been done for the first time by any Government for their welfare, Jugal added.
Shamsher Singh Manhas MP (RS) said that 36 Ministers are visiting 60 places in J&K and they will seek a feed back of Government’s welfare schemes from the people. They will ascertain whether these schemes have served any purpose or not, he added.
He said Panches and Sarpanches will be empowered and in last over 70 years no one thought of empowering Panchyats but all powers were with bureaucrats.
Mayor JMC Chander Mohan Gupta said that Articles 370 and 35 -A, were impediments in the way of development and cause of unemployment and underdevelopment in J&K. Now the UT will be taken on the path of development, he added.
The welcome address was given by Commissioner/ Secretary, GAD, Farooq Ahmed Lone. He said 36 Ministers’ will visit at block level and apprise the people of the welfare schemes of the Government.
Earlier, three Union Ministers arrived in Srinagar after their flight to Jammu could not land there, officials said. The three Ministers included Arjun Meghwal, Ashwani Choubey and Dr Jitendra Singh.
Later Arjun Meghwal visited Khara Mandana in Purmandal block of Samba district in the evening and interacted with people there. He heard the problems of the people and enquired about the welfare schemes from them. As per reports, the Minister was apprised of the various problems by the gathering which included power and water shortage, lack of medicare facilities and bad condition of roads. The Minister assured them that he will take up the issue with the concerned authorities and all steps will be taken for addressing their problems.
Another MoS Ashwani Kumar Chobey visited Chajwal in Samba district and interacted with people to have a feed back on Government schemes from them. They people demanded a District Hospital for Vijaypur and also highlighted the problems of power and water faced by them .They also demanded posting of doctors and other staff in District Hospital Samba . The Minister assured them that the problems will be looked into.