‘Kishtwar to be North India’s major power hub’
KISHTWAR, July 15: Hitting out at previous Governments for ignoring the erstwhile Doda district in development for 65 years of their rule, Union Minister in PMO with independent charge of Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh today said Modi Government utilized unexplored resources of Chenab region.
Addressing a public rally through virtual mode from Jammu, as he could not make it to Kishtwar due to inclement weather, Dr Jitendra Singh without naming the parties and leaders took a jibe at those who ruled the J&K and at Delhi for 65 long years and alleged that they neglected this region for their vested interests as they wanted the people of this hilly belt should remain backward so that they can exploit them to hilt for their vote bank politics.
The Union Minister said the natural resources were the same while the water and rivers were also similar then why steps could not be taken to construct power projects or establish the research institute for high altitude medicines during that period.
Dr Jitendra Singh also gave credit to Modi Government in strengthening the basic institutes of democracy in the J&K which were ignored by the previous regimes for their vested interests. “Those who are talking about self rule or people’s empowerment never took any initiative to strengthen the basic institute of democracy and make the three tier democratic system functional in J&K. Instead they empowered their own dynasties for the years at the cost of common masses”, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said it was Narendra Modi Government which took initiative of holding elections to basic institutes of democracy in J&K to empower the common man and made him partner in running the Government. It was for the first time that the elections to Panchayats, Block Development Committees (BDCs) and District Development Committees (DDCs) were held in J&K under Modi rule, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar will become North India’s major “power hub” generating nearly 6,000 MW of power after the completion of the ongoing power projects.
He said the surplus power from Kishtwar will not only be utilised for other parts of the UT, but will also be sold to other States. He lamented that the rich natural resources of Chenab were not exploited by the previous Governments which ruled J&K for 60-65 years.
Pertinent to mention that 1000 MW Pakal Dul Project, 624 MW Kiru Project, 540 MW Kwar Project and 930 MW Kirthai Project are all located in close vicinity of each other, along with 850 MW Ratle Project which has been revived as a Joint venture between the Centre and the UT. This, the Minister said, makes Kishtwar region as one of the biggest power hubs of North India. He also announced 100 percent reservation for locals in unskilled jobs for these projects and promised to give preference to local talent in skilled manpower requirement.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, before 2014, road travel to Kishtwar was cumbersome and on the slightest landside, the Doda-Kishtwar road got blocked. But today, the road travel time from Jammu to Kishtwar has reduced from over seven hours in 2014 to less than 5 hours now. Similarly, he said, during these eight years, Kishtwar has come up on the Aviation Map of India and has been sanctioned an airport under Centre’s UDAAN Scheme, which nobody had ever imagined.
The Minister said, Kishtwar has got an AYUSH Hospital, while Padar was given a Kendriya Vidyalaya under Centre’s RUSA scheme, because the then State Government had declined to do so.
Overall, in the erstwhile Doda district of which Kisthwar was a part, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India’s first-ever National Institute of High-Altitude Medicine is coming up in Bhaderwah and Centrally funded Medical College has already started in Doda. Similarly, three new national highways including Khellani-Sudhmahadev Highway, a series of Degree Colleges, mobile towers enroute Machail Yatra and other remote areas have also come up during the Modi Government, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh called upon the citizens to motivate the youth to avail maximum benefit of the StartUp avenues in Aroma Mission, Purple Revolution and Lavender cultivation, which has already picked up in the neighbouring Bhaderwah and is seen as a hitherto unexplored source of livelihood.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that areas like Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern States and other hilly States suffered on many counts during the last 60-65 years, due to myopic policies of the successive Central Governments, but soon after the Modi Government took over in 2014, the Prime Minister had stated that every effort would be made to bring the North Eastern region, J&K and other backward regions at par with the more developed regions of the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will always be credited for having introduced a new work culture in India wherein each of the pro-poor and public welfare schemes were designed in such a manner so as to reach the most needy or the last man in the last queue, regardless of cast, creed, religion or vote consideration. Similarly, considering the emerging scenario of contemporary India, Modi has constantly boosted StartUps who should be capable of earning their own livelihood, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said revolutionary schemes like Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, Jan Dhan, Ujjawala, Sauchalaya, PM Aawas, Har Ghar Jal, Har Ghar Bijli and Ayushman have reached every nook and corner of the country including in hilly and difficult terrains like Kishtwar. He said, people are getting the benefits of welfare schemes without any discrimination, unlike in the past, when appeasement policy was rampant. The Minister emphasised that these welfare measures brought crores of people out of the clutches of abject poverty and gave them a life of dignity.
In his concluding remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh said, areas with unexplored potential like Kishtwar, North-East and other hilly regions will play a pivotal role in the next 25 years of India’s journey and these regions, rather than the saturated States, will propel India as a frontline nation in the world, when it celebrates 100th year of independence in 2047.
BJP president, Pradip Parihar, senior BJP leader, Tariq Keen, veteran leader Capt (retd) Hukum Chand and former Minister, Sunil Sharma were among others who addressed the rally. All of them profusely appreciated Dr Jitendra Singh’s hard work and commitment in getting several development projects for Kishtwar and his constituency.
Sunil Sharma while speaking highlighted the keen interest taken by Dr Jitendra Singh in development of this hilly region and demanded that local youth be given preference in the jobs in power and other projects to overcome the unemployment problem in this belt.