Previous Govts lacked seriousness to utilize Chenab resources: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh meeting with people during his visit to Kishtwar on Saturday.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh meeting with people during his visit to Kishtwar on Saturday.

‘Kishtwar to be North India’s major power hub’

Nishikant Khajuria
KISHTWAR, June 3: Alleging that the previous Governments in Jammu and Kashmir lacked seriousness to fully utilize rich natural resources of Chenab, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Kishtwar would soon become North India’s major power hub generating around 6,000 MW of power after completion of the ongoing projects.
“The previous Governments, which ruled Jammu and Kashmir for 60-65 years, failed to fully utilize the rich natural resources of Chenab because of their lackluster approach to benefit people of the erstwhile Doda region,” he said after taking review of the progress of various hydroelectric power projects in Kishtwar and Doda districts, here today.
Dr Jitendra Singh lamented that despite representation of Doda region in the Union as well as State Cabinets during the earlier regimes, no sincere efforts were made for adequate development of the area and upliftment of the locals.
The Union Minister was scheduled to address two public rallies at Nagseni and Dachhan respectively, but cancelled both the rallies as a mark of respect to the victims of tragic train accident in Odisha and instead convened a detailed meeting to review the progress of various Hydroelectric power projects in the Kishtwar and Doda districts. NHPC Chairman Rajiv Vishnoi, Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Devansh Yadav and officials of Central and UT Governments updated the Minister about the progress of the projects.
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Later, Dr Jitendra Singh also visited remote hilly region of Dachhan. Former J&K Minister Sunil Sharma, DDC Members, local PRI representatives and senior BJP leaders including Chuni Lal, Tariq Keen, Pradeep Parihar, Cap Hukum Chand as well as a number of prominent persons of the region accompanied the Union Minister during the visit.
On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh announced that Kishtwar will become North India’s major power hub generating around 6,000 MW of power after the completion of ongoing power projects. “The surplus power from Kishtwar will not only be utilized for other parts of the Union Territory, but could also be availed by other States,” he added.
Pertinent to mention that the largest capacity project is Pakal Dul with a capacity of 1000 MW and expected timeline of its competition is 2025. Another major project is Kiru Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 624 MW and the timeline in this case is also 2025. Another Project located about 43 km from Kishtwar is Kwar Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 624 MW and the timeline of competition is 54 months. About 25 kilometres upstream of Kiru Hydroelectric project is another Hydroelectric project Kirthai II Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 930 MW. At the same time, 850 MW Ratle project has been revived as a joint venture between the Centre and UT of J&K. In addition, the existing Dulhasti power station has an installed capacity of 390 MW, while Dulhasti II Hydroelectric project will have a capacity of 260 MW.
Dr Jitendra Singh, who represents Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary seat in the Lok Sabha, said these projects shall not only augment the power supply position thereby making up for the shortage of power supply in the UT of J&K, but the huge investment being made for construction of these projects is also a boost for direct as well as indirect opportunities for the local people. He assured 100 percent reservation for locals in unskilled jobs for these projects and promised to give preference to local talent in skilled manpower requirements.
Highlighting achievements of Modi Government, 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, he added, the road travel time from Jammu to Kishtwar has reduced from over 7 hours in 2014 to less than 5 hours now and similarly during these 9 years, Kishtwar has come up on the Aviation Map of India as an airport has been sanctioned under Centre’s UDAAN Scheme, which nobody had ever imagined.
The Minister also mentioned that Kishtwar has got an AYUSH Hospital, while Paddar was given a Kendriya Vidyalaya under Centre’s RUSA scheme, because the then State Government had declined to do so. Similarly, Dr Jitendra Singh said, 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.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that areas like Jammu & Kashmir, North-Eastern States and other hilly States suffered on many counts due to myopic policies of the successive Central Governments, but soon after the Modi Government took over in 2014, 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.
“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,” said Dr Singh.