Dr Jitendra, Sinha inaugurate first academic batch of GMC Doda

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha speaking during inauguration of first academic batch of Doda GMC on Saturday. -Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha speaking during inauguration of first academic batch of Doda GMC on Saturday. -Excelsior/Tilak Raj

‘Distt neglected by previous representatives’

Avtar Bhat
DODA, Feb 27: Union Minister of State with Independent charge of North Eastern region, Dr Jitendra Singh and Lt Governor J&K UT Manoj Sinha inaugurated the first academic batch of 100 MBBS students of GMC Doda here today and said health and education in far flung areas in UT of J&K is priority of the present Government.
In his address, Dr Jitendra Singh took a strong dig at the leaders from Doda who, he said, rose to powerful positions but they neglected their region totally. Without naming anyone, he said that right from independence of the country there is hardly any time when the leaders from this region did not reach Delhi or held the Cabinet berths in the erstwhile State Government but unfortunately they did not pay attention to the development of this region. “Even one leader from Marmat area also held important position at Delhi but the development of the area was done by Modi Government’’, he added.

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He, however, said that these leaders who got votes from the people of this region but neglected them totally had to be answerable to them now. Dr Jitendra Singh, while giving full credit to Narendra Modi Government for taking keen interest in the development of Jammu and Kashmir UT said during his visit to Kashmir in 2014 while announcing Rs 80,000 crore package for J&K, Narendra Modi had said that the coffers of his Government will always be open for the development of J&K.
Dr Jitendra Singh said there was a time when people did not expect a Degree College in Doda and now there are two Degree Colleges in Doda- one Boys Degree College and another Women Degree College. Earlier the degree students from this area had to go to Bhaderwah or Udhampur for studies, he added.
The Union Minister said now there are Degree Colleges in far-flung areas of Kashtigarh and Marmat. He said there was no public demand for a Medical College in Doda but Kathua –Udhampur and Doda Parliamentary constituency is the only constituency in the country which was gifted three Medical Colleges by Modi Government. This shows its commitment for the welfare of the people living in far flung areas of the UT, he added.
He however regretted that the people are not appreciating the good works. This Government has taken up such projects in hand which will not ensure prosperity and development of the UT but provide stability to coming generations also. “It is unfortunate that if one person does not get transferred to his choicest place he cries no thing has been done by the Government but the need of hour is that such mentality should be changed’’, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the condition of roads in entire Doda Kishtwar region was worst and not going far behind in 2014 people were hesitating in traveling to Bhaderwah or Kishtwar as there was threat of landslides and accidents. But now there is a good network of roads in the area, he added.
Giving a detailed account of the infrastructure projects in the region, Dr Singh said that work had commenced on the National Highway connecting Khelani to Sudmahadev and would be completed in 2-3 years. He said that Doda district would soon be connected with Chamba in Himachal Pradesh via 6 km tunnel that would greatly reduce the travel time between the two. He added that under BRO’s BEACON project Lakhanpur would be connected with Doda-Bhaderwah via Bani-Basohli. With respect to power production in the region Dr Jitendra Singh said that Power Projects like Pakaldul and Dulhasti –II would make the region self- sufficient in electricity and would also be able to provide power outside.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Finance Commissioner, Atal Dulloo were also present on the occasion.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the commencement of session of first batch of MBBS students at GMC, Doda was a historic achievement since it fulfilled the aspirations of the people and would lead to medical and educational advancement of people of the region. He also commended the role of former Principal of the College, Dr Tariq Azad who too was present in the function in getting this college functional in a time bound manner. He further said that GMC Doda will not only provide the better healthcare facilities to Doda district but to this entire hilly region. He added that J&K UT has now seven sanctioned GMCs, out of which five have started working in full swing.
While elaborating the developments in the far-flung areas of J&K with a special reference to, this hilly belt, Dr Jitendra Singh said that various developmental projects that are being undertaken would empower people in changing their destinies since they would no longer be restrained due to lack of infrastructure or connectivity. He mentioned that improvements in the physical infrastructure in last few years in the region had been a catalyst for improving the health and educational status of Doda district. He specifically mentioned that the improvement in connectivity had provided impetus to female education especially tertiary female education.
Earlier Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha while addressing the gathering through virtual mode, congratulated the aspiring doctors and advised them to serve humanity and imbibe the spirit of selflessness.
Speaking on the efforts being made by the UT Government for the development of the health sector, the Lt Governor observed that J&K Government is taking several reformative measures for the advancement and upgradation of health infrastructure, besides providing affordable healthcare services to all.
“We are determined to fulfill the vision of a new and healthy J&K’’, he said.
Terming the healthcare sector as imperative for the development of J&K, Sinha observed that J&K is spending 2.86% of its GSDP on public health, which is the best in the country. Special attention is being paid to three areas – prevention, better treatment, and care, he added.
The Lt Governor also termed the role of medicine students important in strengthening the healthcare system of J&K.
He further underscored the significant measures taken by the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for bringing reforms in the health sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
Five new Medical Colleges, two AIIMS, nearly 1000 Healthcare and Wellness Centers, five new Nursing Colleges, BSc Paramedical course as well as more than 100% increase in medical seats are contributing towards the development and advancement of the healthcare sector in the UT, he added.
Tendering process for establishing two new Medical Colleges in Udhampur and Handwara, at an estimated cost of Rs 325 crore each, has been started which will lead to tremendous health security improvement in remote areas, maintained the Lt Governor.
Underlining the improvements recorded by J&K in different health indicators, the Lt Governor observed that the Health Index of J&K shows incremental improvements and positive changes, he said.
In the last three years, the neonatal mortality rate in Jammu and Kashmir has come down from 23.1 to 13.3 per 1000. The infant mortality rate has come down from 32.4 to 16.3 per 1000. Sex Ratio at birth has increased from 923 to 976 per 1000. Institutional deliveries have increased from 7% to 92.4%, Sinha maintained.
Jammu and Kashmir has received Rs 881 crore for 140 health projects under PMDP out of which 75 projects have been completed and 26 projects will be completed by March this year, said the Lt Governor.
World Bank is providing financial assistance of Rs 367 crore to Jammu and Kashmir, which will further strengthen the health care institutions here, he added.
The Lt Governor congratulated the Principal and faculty members of GMC Doda for commencement of the first batch of the college. It’s a matter of great satisfaction that out of 100 students in the first batch, 50 are girls, he added.