My priority to turn Jammu one of best tourist destinations, create employment avenues through industry: Jugal

Avtar Bhat

Trying his luck for third consecutive term as Member of Parliament from Jammu- Lok Sabha constituency, BJP candidate Jugal Kishore Sharma’s priority will be to make Jammu one of the best tourist destinations of J&K by developing Mansar, Surinsar lakes, and constructing an artificial lake at river Tawi in the City of Temples, promoting border as well as pilgrimage tourism in next five years if elected again.

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Belonging to a humble family background, Jugal’s political career spans over two decades.
Besides, serving as president of J&K BJP, he was elected to J&K Assembly from Nagrota Assembly segment in the year 2002 for the first time. Resident of Kishanpur Nagrota, Jugal has the distinction of being lone BJP MLA in the House during 2002 Assembly poll after all other BJP candidates lost the elections at that time as party votes were divided between the newly created Jammu State Morcha (JSM) and BJP. But Jugal being a novice succeeded in projecting his party’s view point forcefully in the House and emerged a strong voice of party in the Assembly. A staunch RSS man Jugal, joined Sangh Shakhas from his school days and later turned as a disciplined and dedicated Sangh activist earning accolades from higher ups in the organisation.
He remained associated with social works of Sangh from his student age as he admitted during his interview to Excelsior that it was the result of his services as a dedication and a disciplined Swayamsevak that he was given mandate to contest the Assembly elections in 2002 from Nagrota seat. Since then he did not look back and in 2008 he was re-elected as MLA from this seat. In 2014 he made a debut as Parliament Member after being elected to Lok Sabha by a huge margin by defeating the then sitting MP of Congress Late Madan Lal Sharma. In 2019, he was re-elected as MP from the same Lok Sabha seat by trouncing Congress candidate and former Minister, Raman Bhalla. Riding on Modi wave and his 10 years performance as MP, Jugal is confident of making a hat-trick this time.
Lashing out at his critics especially Congress who are blaming him for non performance, Jugal asked why they failed to develop Jammu -Akhnoor Highway and Akhnoor-Poonch Highway during last five decades.
“This road was very narrow and prone to accidents every year. As MP I got Rs 5100 crore for the project sanctioned and work on this highway is going on fast track. Another bridge on river Chenab is under construction at present, besides work on tunnels is also on fast track on this Highway’’, he added.
Jugal, while criticising earlier rulers, said the Akhnoor road which was constructed in 1971 was not developed for about half a century. And it was only Modi Government which released funds generously for the four lanning of road. A flyover from Canal Road to Muthi has been constructed while the work on another flyover from 4th Tawi bridge to canal road is going on war footing basis.
He said Indri -Pattan Jourian bridge on river Chenab which was sabotaged by earlier Governments for their vested interests is also under construction which will provide relief to thousands of people of the area. He said Rs 206 crore were got sanctioned for this bridge by him from Surface and Road Transport, Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Jugal boasts of constructing community bunkers in border belt of his constituency and this way border people were relieved of their worries, who had to take shelter in schools and community halls away from their native places in the event of Pakistani firing.
Besides, Jammu Railway Station was modernised which was constructed in 1971-72. It had only three platforms which is now being expanded to seven platforms and two gates will be constructed one from Trikuta Nagar and another from Narwal side. Moreover runway at Jammu Airport was expanded and another terminal was constructed to make it akin to International Airport. He said work is going on the flyover from Sarore to Kunjwani and later it’s one branch will go to City and another to airport to decongest the Satwari Chowk of heavy traffic rush and traffic jams will permanently end on this stretch of road for the convenience of the people.
Constructing Expressway and two flyovers in Samba one in the town and another from Degree College Samba to Chichi Mata temple, Medical College in Rajouri to decrease the rush of patients on Medical College Jammu and to provide best medicare facilities in rural areas are my other achievements of last 10 years as MP, said Jugal.
He said besides establishment of AIIMS at Vijaypur to provide best kind of medical facilities to people of Jammu whose OPD has already started functioning, establishing of Cancer Hospital and Bone and Joint Hospital in Super Speciality Hospital, Jammu are also among the achievements of BJP Government led by Modi.
Jugal said a Passport Office was opened at Rajouri so that the people of this hilly belt and twin districts of Rajouri –Poonch can save their time and money in visiting Jammu as there was only one Passport Office available in the region. Opening of IIT Jammu and IIM Jammu have turned the city as hub of professional education and now the students from the UT of J&K need not to go to Bangalore or other cities of country for seeking professional training. The Jammu Zoo is another achievement of my 10 years as MP, he added.
He said the beautification of river Tawi on pattern of Sabarmati in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, holding of Parade on Indo –Pak border at Suchetgarh on the pattern of Wagah border of Punjab, construction of roads under CRF and NABARD, construction of bridges are some other achievements of my 10 years as MP.
Jugal said to attract tourists towards Jammu an artificial lake on river Tawi is being constructed in two phases. In first phase, it will be constructed from Fourth bridge to Gujar Nagar and in second phase it will be constructed from Gujar Nagar to Sidhrah. This lake will be opened for boating and it will be a great attraction for tourists from within UT and outside J&K.
Jugal said his priority in next five years if elected would be promotion of tourism in Jammu so that the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi can go for sightseeing and the tourist resorts of Mansar and Surinsar will be fully exposed for domestic as well as outside tourists. Besides, Shivkhori in Reasi , Baba Dansal and holy township of Katra will also be developed for pilgrimage tourism.
He said promoting industry will also be his priority in next five years so that the new entrepreneurs come for investment in Jammu. All efforts will be made to encourage them so that they don’t face any problem in creating employment avenues for the youth. Thrust will also be given to Startups so that the youth can get jobs.
Jugal alleged that previous NC, PDP and Congress Governments did nothing except creating a confusion and misleading people with catchy slogans. The flyovers, widening of roads as well as construction of bridges, Medical Colleges, AIIMS and professional colleges were needed earlier too but earlier Governments did not pay any attention to it. Had they got such game changing projects for J&K, the situation in the UT would have been quite different, he added.
NC, Congress and PDP promoted corruption, dynastic rule and did lot of discrimination with Jammu by depriving border people of four percent reservation right from Akhnoor to Kathua while extending this benefit to people on LoC who constituted their vote bank, he said.
He said BJP gave political reservations to STs, extended reservation benefits to Paharis, gave benefits of Ayushman Bharat Scheme to people of entire UT and his party is committed to Viksit Bharat to make this nation a world leader.