Erstwhile Doda district deliberately ignored by previous Govts, Reps: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh addressing BJP workers' meeting at Kishtwar on Saturday. —Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh addressing BJP workers' meeting at Kishtwar on Saturday. —Excelsior/Tilak Raj

Avtar Bhat

KISHTWAR/DODA, Nov 21: Hitting out at previous rulers, Union Minister, Dr. Jitendra Singh today accused them of deliberately ignoring the Kishtwar and erstwhile Doda district and challenged anybody to come forward and compare the magnitude of development accomplished in the last nearly seven years with the earlier seven decades.
Addressing a series of meetings of BJP workers during his tour of Kishtwar and Doda districts, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, that this hilly belt remained totally neglected for over six decades after independence despite the fact many Central and State Ministers came from this region during that period but they did not pay any attention for its development.
He said under the Narendra Modi Government this area is fast emerging as development hub of J&K with four mega Hydro Electric Projects, National Highways, Airport and High Altitude Medicinal Research Centre, besides Medical College and one more Degree College coming up in this hilly region which is a Central place of both Kashmir valley and Jammu region.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the initiative of present BJP Government will boost industrialization, create job opportunities for people and self livelihood avenues. Besides, being Centrally located it will promote the business entrepreneurs of both the regions, he added.
The Union Minister said it is not for the opposition but for us to ask why even the main development works and the main highway roads were ignored in spite of the fact that this region was represented by important Ministers at the Central and State level for the last 70 years. He said, even the important road from Doda to Kishtwar was upgraded and developed at a cost of Rs.100 crore through Central fund only four years back while the Doda to Bhaderwah road which was always a site of landslides is now better than many of the main highway roads and the journey can be completed within 30 to 40 minutes.
Taking a dig at the critics who say that they see no development in this region, Dr. Jitendra Singh asked these wise men are they driving along these roads without looking at them and if they cannot appreciate because of the bias, let them inquire from local inhabitants the difference before and now. However, he said, even if the critics do not see the developments, it does not matter because those who have to vote for us are seeing the benefits of this development and also acknowledging it.
This is for the first time, said Dr Jitendra Singh, that in Doda and Kishtwar, “we have a new alternate highway coming up from Khileni via Marmat to Sudhmahadev and we have three important tunnels being brought up by the Central agencies including the Chandergalla Tunnel and the Kaljugar Tunnel connecting Himachal Pradesh. It is within the last four years that four biggest power projects in Jammu & Kashmir have come up in Kishtwar in addition to a Saffron Park and sanction for Sapphire Mines.” The first of its kind National Institute of High Altitude Medicine at Bhaderwah and the Government Medical College at Doda have also come up in the last six years, he added.
He said the Saffron Park will be first such Park which will be launched by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at Kishtwar in near future. It’s foundation was to be laid earlier but it was delayed.
He said the construction of power projects of Pakal Dul, Keru, Rattle and Phase-2 of Dul- Hasti will prove as game changers. Besides, creating employment opportunities for the people they will boost the power generation in the UT.
Dr. Jitendra Singh also accused the former Central and State Ministers from the region of depriving their own native places of connectivity and development because they felt insecure at the prospect of people becoming awakened and challenging their leadership. In this regard, he mentioned the example of Gandoh where the first Post Office was set up only four years back though this place claims to have produced some of the leaders of national level.
As for the empowerment of grassroot democracy is concerned, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the single biggest achievement under Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is that Jammu & Kashmir is going to have District Development Councils (DDCs) for the first time after independence. He asked, why those who were asking for autonomy and self-rule for Jammu & Kashmir did not allow establishment of three-tier grassroot autonomy which would have given democracy to the local representatives and why they did not allow the implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendment of the Constitution which would have given financial empowerment to local Panchayats and Block and District level representatives.
The Union Minister also spoke about the Central Government schemes such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padao, Ayushman Bharat and schemes related to Agriculture, Horticulture, Disability pension and other Social Welfare schemes.
The Minister emphasised that these good governance schemes should be replicated nationwide so that the citizens across country can be benefitted.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is committed to the development of UT of J&K. He added that the benefits of Central Government Schemes should reach the last man in the queue. The Minister also emphasised upon strengthening of grass-root level democracy for which the initiative of holding elections to the three-tier Panchayati Raj system in J&K was taken by the present Government.
He said that BJP has fulfilled it’s major promises made during national election and appealed to the peoples to vote and support his party candidates in the DDC elections.