J&K ahead of water deadline from country, Industrial Policy in final stage: Ministers

Nine Union Ministers addressing functions at various places in Jammu region on Wednesday.
Nine Union Ministers addressing functions at various places in Jammu region on Wednesday.

Day 5 of Centre’s public outreach
Abrogation of special status will lead to development

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Jan 22: On Day 5 of the Central Government’s public outreach programme, nine Union Ministers visited Jammu region today spreading message of the Centre for development of Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of special Constitutional provisions of the erstwhile State and its conversion into the Union Territory with Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat declaring that J&K Government will achieve the task of providing piped water supply to all houses by December 2021 as against 2024 deadline set by Modi Government. Click here to watch video
Shekhawat on Day 2 of his visit to Jammu e-inaugurated 42 Water Supply Schemes completed at a cost of Rs 73.86 crore which will provide drinking water to 46,400 functional household tap connections in six districts of the Union Territory including Baramulla, Kulgam, Anantnag, Poonch, Kathua and Jammu.
Apart from inauguration of series of developmental projects and reviewing progress on others, the Central Ministers told the people during interactions that abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A and making J&K State a Union Territory will go long way in development of the UT.
The Union Ministers were of the view that the two Articles had hampered progress of Jammu and Kashmir with the politicians at the helm of affairs earlier paid no heed towards development at grass-root level which, they pointed out, was evident from the fact that Panchayat and Block Development Council (BDC) elections were held in J&K and Ladakh after gap of several years following imposition of Central rule.
“The Narendra Modi Government has directly given power to the people by holding elections to the BDCs and Panchayats,’’ they said.
Nine Union Ministers who visited different parts of Jammu region today included Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Culture and Tourism Prahlad Patel, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash, Minister of State for Railways Suresh C Angadi, Minister of State for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Kailash Choudhary and Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao.
“The Central Government has set 2024 as deadline for piped water to all in the country but the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the administration were confident that they will meet this deadline in December 2021,’’ Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said after high-level review of Water Supply Schemes here with top brass of the administration.
Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Prakash reiterated that the Centre would soon announce a comprehensive Industrial Policy for the Union Territory of J&K to attract huge investments in the region. He made the announcement while interacting with local industrialists and representatives of Traders Association in the presence of Administrative Secretary Industries and Commerce MK Dwivedi.
“The Industrial Policy is in the final stage of finalization,’’ Prakash said.
Shekhawat assured full support for the ongoing projects. Threadbare discussions were held regarding removing of bottlenecks, maintaining quality assessment and early completion of such projects, which include Ujh, Shahpurkandi Dam, comprehensive flood management works on River Jhelum, improvement and strengthening of main Ravi and Tawi canals, flood management and anti-erosion measures along river Chenab, construction of protection works on most vulnerable spots downstream Akhnoor bridge and others during the meeting.
He said during execution of the projects, the engineers should think about the long term Operation and Management (O&M) strategy and sustainability of the project while planning, development of the Water Supply Schemes.
Som Prakash asserted that the upcoming Industrial Policy would satisfy all the stakeholders and provide a level playing field for growth of industry.
“Central Government will extend all help to local industrialists to enable them to flourish and compete with other competitors by providing them level field,” Prakash said and added that the people of J&K have strong will and determination to progress with rest of the country.
“Due to several political and economic barriers, the people in the region, including industrialists, were deprived of avenues for growth and fast paced development,” Prakash said.
Union Minister of the State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Prahalad Singh Patel interacted with public representatives and locals here at Ramnagar in Udhampur district.
Patel called upon the officers to make sincere and dedicated efforts to aware the people about the Central and J&K Government schemes, as these are meant for uplifting rural people.
He added that the Central Government is committed to empower the weaker section of society and urged the public to participate in all development activities.
Union Minister of State for Rural Development, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti reviewed development scenario of Reasi district at a meeting of Heads of Departments.
Deputy Commissioner, Indu Kanwal Chib briefed the Minister.
Jyoti expressed satisfaction over performance of various departments. She also noted areas that need special attention and assured taking up the issues with the Centre.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao conducted a public outreach camp at Nowshera, Rajouri.
Shamrao said that the Government is committed to ensure all round development for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the current visit is part of the initiative to take efficient governance to the doorsteps of people. He added that the objective of holding public outreach programme is to disseminate the information about various Government schemes and to take review of implementation of these schemes on the ground.
He said more than 4000 educated youths have been provided with employment opportunities in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir under Himayat. He aded that Jammu and Kashmir has immense potential in Hydroelectric sector.
Shamrao said the Government is committed for equitable development of all without any discrimination. He asked the citizens to participate in policy formulation and program implementation to usher in an era of direct participatory democracy.
He stated that after the abrogation of Article 370, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a number of positive changes like implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendments and rise in the ease of doing business index.
He said Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is at 10th position in terms of ease of doing business which is a good sign. He said that in order to bring transparency and accountability, the Anti corruption Act is implemented in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, convened a public outreach programme at Manjakote block of Rajouri district.
Danve said that Central Government is working under a well knit programme to take the UT of J&K towards new dimensions of growth and development and several steps are being taken in this regard. He also highlighted various Central Government welfare schemes and urged upon the people to avail benefit of these schemes. He exhorted upon the officers of the district administration to focus on areas having potential of creating employment opportunities for unemployed youth of the district.
He informed that Central Government has already announced a package of Rs 80,000 cr in order to ensure proper development of UT of J&K. He also informed that Government has decided to lay gas line connections in the UT in the next two years to facilitate the poor and needy families.
Danve said that the Government has decided to provide an additional power supply of 186 MW for the UT to resolve the issue of unscheduled power cuts. He said that to ensure safety of the people affected by cross border shelling, safe shelters in the shape of border bunkers are being constructed along LoC areas.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary participated in a Public outreach Programme during a visit to Chak Chattakan, Ramgarh, Samba.
Choudhary said that under PM-KISAN, farmers are getting 6000 per year as minimum income support and under PM-KMDY farmers are getting 3000 per month as Old Age pension from the govt after voluntarily contribution and these step will address the issues of social security and sustenance among the farmers.
He said that the Cabinet has also approved extension by three years and revision of PM’s Development Package for Horticulture in UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
Union Minister of State for Railways, Suresh C Angadi held an interaction with the Block Development Chairpersons, Sarpanchs, Panchs of various blocks of Nagrota, Bishnah, Arnia and other border areas.
Angadi said that the Central Government is committed to empower the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI’s) as these are vital for development at grass root level.
He added that the main objective of the interaction programme is to get first hand appraisal of public issues at the Panchayat level so that pace of development can be accelerated further in J&K. “Several measures have already been initiated in this regard and number of projects are in progress which will reduce the developmental deficit here,” he said.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Parshottam Rupala laid the foundation of a Community Hall at Qudarpur, R S Pura and interacted with farmers and Panchayat representatives.
Rupala highlighted the initiatives taken by the Central Government for the betterment of various sections of the society. He said that the Central Government is committed to welfare of the people of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
He added that the Government has taken various initiatives for improving health care facilities, provide clean drinking water and uninterrupted power supply, besides other essential services to people.