Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy visited Ganderbal district today as part of the elaborate outreach programme of the central government in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. As part of his three day tour to Kashmir, the Minister visited Ganderbal District on his first day. He interacted with the local people and official stakeholders. He also assessed the progress under several schemes of the central government. The Minister laid foundation stones for projects worth over Rs. 20 crores.
Shri Reddy called upon the people to be equal partners in the development of the UT. He said that the UT of Jammu and Kashmir has a huge potential to come up as the power house of the Nation. This potential will now be unleashed with the right policy interventions and honest intentions. He unequivocally asserted that development of Jammu & Kashmir along with renewed growth prospects for the residents will be on top of the agenda and all necessary steps will be taken towards this end.
Addressing a huge gathering at Ganderbal, Shri Reddy highlighted the fact that the first step towards building a growth story for Kashmir has been removing all policy bottlenecks and addressing corruption. He said that it was unfortunate that many essential projects such as drinking water, power generation etc. had been languishing for years and some even for decades.
He said that 1644 languishing projects in key sectors with investment of Rs. 3,631 crores have been approved. He further assured the people that work under the Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP) projects have been fast tracked and said that out of 63 projects, 14 have been completed/substantially completed and others are at various stages of implementation.
Further, highlighting the reforms in the power sector, the Minister said that along with fast tracking the stalled projects such as the Shahpur Kandi Dam project, initiated after being in a limbo for 40 years, work has begun on several others to ensure constant power supply, a crucial factor in growth and development. He highlighted some of the initiatives including, several projects such as Ujh Multipurpose project and Ratle Hydropower project rejuvenated after languishing for years.
Shri Reddy said that developing a robust health infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir is also high on priority of the Modi government. He informed that the two AIIMS at Samba and Avantipora, which were stalled due to land and forest issues have now been cleared for completion. Five new Medical Colleges at Baramulla, Anantnag, Rajouri, Kathua and Doda have been approved, which is the single largest addition in last 70 years, he further added.
Focusing on the importance of skilled youth in J&K’s development, the Minister said that an equal focus of the Modi government has been and shall remain on employment and skill development of the youth. He said that it is the youth who have to script Jammu & Kashmir’s growth story and the Central Government will ensure that they have an enabling platform. For this, he added, education and skill development will be a focus area of the government.
Shri Reddy said that to ensure that our vision is translated into reality, the central government has worked to plug loopholes and tighten the noose on corruption. As part of the event, Shri Kishan Reddy also distributed pension books to senior citizens ensuring monthly financial support of upto Rs 1000.