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Thursday, February 20, 2020

In J&K outreach, ministers on launch spree; Oppn says cutting ribbons on old projects

J&K National Panthers Party chairperson and former state minister Harsh Dev Singh called the ministers' visit a “publicity stunt”, while the party's president, Balwant Mankotia, said these projects are too small to be inaugurated by Union ministers.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: January 24, 2020 2:23:22 am
Kashmir union ministers visit, article 370 abrogation, bjp kashmir, bjp leaders kashmir, bjp leaders kashmir visit, jk lockdown, jk restrictions The move attracted criticism from opposition Congress and Panthers Party.

From a link road built under MGNREGA at a cost of Rs 6.86 lakh to upgrading electrical infrastructure of 12 shrines, and from inaugurating an indoor badminton hall to dedicating a permanent ambulance to a primary health centre (PHC), Union ministers inaugurated a series of projects and laid foundation stones of several others over the last three days as part of the Centre’s public outreach programme in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The move, however, attracted criticism from opposition Congress and Panthers Party, with leaders of the former dismissing it as cutting ribbons and taking credit for old projects, many of them finished much earlier, and the latter dubbing the exercise meaningless and futile.

Read | Centre plans outreach: 36 Ministers will go to Jammu and Valley this week

Former minister and senior Congress leader Dr Manohar Lal Sharma alleged that a multipurpose hall at Government Degree College, Billawar, which was inaugurated by MoS (External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs) V Muraleedharan was sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs 5.06 crore back in 2011-12, when he was MoS for High Education in J&K. Accusing the BJP leadership of “cutting ribbons and taking credit” for projects initiated and completed by previous Congress government, he said the work was handed over to J&K Projects Construction Company and was finished a few years ago.

His party colleague and former state minister Abdul Majeed Wani also accused the NDA ministers of inaugurating projects undertaken by the previous Congress government such as the water-sports park at Pul Doda.

J&K National Panthers Party chairperson and former state minister Harsh Dev Singh called the ministers’ visit a “publicity stunt”, while the party’s president, Balwant Mankotia, said these projects are too small to be inaugurated by Union ministers.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma said all development projects are of public importance. Moreover, he said, besides inaugurating these projects, or laying their foundation stones, the main purpose of the programme was to reach out to the people in far off rural areas of J&K. He said the ministers met and interacted with a cross section of the people, listened to their problems and apprised them of various schemes and programmes launched by the government.

At a function in Srinagar, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Centre will try to accommodate all Haj applicants from J&K, while Railways, and Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goel announced increase in frequency of Vande Bharat Express trains between Delhi and Katra. He also promised 25 projects would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 25,000 crore by March 2021. These include IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, highway and road connectivity projects, railway bridges, etc.

Some of the projects inaugurated, or their foundation stones laid:

Piyush Goel, Railways, Industries & Commerce Minister

* Inaugurated ghat along bank of the Chenab at Akhnoor (constructed at the cost of Rs 3.25 crore)

* 3-km road from Tanda to Kapian De Ban (Part-I) (approx Rs 1.5 crore)

* Indoor hall near Boys Higher Secondary School, Akhnoor, (approx Rs 1.95 crore)

Arjun Munda, Education, Health & Employment Minister

* Inaugurated road from Zero Morh to Malad via Gun Kolsar; launched construction work of a well at Jerri Panchayat, one pond each in Saloon and Porakotla panchayats in Reasi district

* Agreed to allow ST students of the district to apply for scholarships in offline mode and promised to develop a tribal cluster in the district, besides further assistance for development of Gujjar, Bakerwal and other ST communities in J&K

R K Singh, MoS, Power, New & Renewable Energy, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

* Inaugurated various stalls of govt departments displaying their products in community hall at Doda

* Sports centre at Pul Doda

* Augmented transformation capacity from 50MVA to 100MVA at 132/33KV grid station at Pounichak in Jammu district

* Laid foundation for 2×50 MVA, 220/33 KV grid station at Nagrota, 6.3 MVA, 33/11KV receiving station at Narndi, Jammu, under PMDP-U

Smriti Irani, Textiles and Women & Child Development Minister

* Inaugurated steel foot-bridge over Junnie nallah, besides Paroh-Ali and Kadmal-Dhanna roads

Anurag Thakur, MoS, Finance and Corporate Affairs

* Dedicated a permanent ambulance to PHC at Nagrota

* Promised to provide a mobile van health service on 3-month trial to provide basic healthcare facilities to at doorsteps

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minority Affairs Minister:

* e-inaugurated 5×44-metre truss girder bridge constructed at a cost of Rs 16.53 crore over Jhelum river at Malroo

* 1223.69-sq-m Forest Protection Force office complex built for Rs 6.62 crore at Bemina

* e-foundation of high school building at Dara (estimated cost Rs 97.01 lakh).

General V K Singh (retd), MoS, Road Transport & Highways

* Inaugurated veterinary hospital building at Mand and a 1×3.15 MVA, 33/11 KV receiving station at Chak

* Foundation stone for improvement/upgrade of Tikri Chanas road

* Distributed cheques to pensioners, presented golden cards to beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat scheme and gave away Mamta kits to newborn girls under BBBP and sports kits under Khelo India.

Ashwani Kumar Choubey, MoS, Health & Family Welfare:

* Inaugurated water supply scheme at Harsath village panchayat; said all homes in Samba district will have piped water connections by 2020 under Jal Jeeven Mission

* Inaugurated National Immunisation Day at Gandhi Nagar Hospital in Jammu

V Muraleedharan, MoS, External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs:

* e-inaugurated rural haat and various road projects constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

* Multipurpose hall in government degree college

* Distributed sanction orders of State Marriage Assistance Scheme at Billage in Kathua district

Arjun Ram Meghwal, MoS, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation & Parliamentary Affairs:

* Inaugurated Block Development Council building at Pathiyara panchayat, laid foundation stone of sports stadium at Mara Pati village in Mahanpur block through e-mode

* Distributed orders regarding financial aid under state marriage assistance scheme and LPG connections among women beneficiaries

* Took part in a plantation drive

* Announced 10 computers under CSR to JNV Basholi; assured to look into demands for a 200-MW solar power plant, trauma centre at Mahanpur, upgrade of girls high school at Basholi, adequate strength of teachers and doctors and skill development centre for pashmina shawl and promotion of Basholi paintings

* Inaugurated several road projects under PMGSY

Jitendra Singh, MoS in PMO:

* Distributed invoices under PM-Kisan scheme, Ayushman Bharat Golden cards, invoices for pensioners, and sports kits under Khelo India in Udhampur

* Inaugurated Jeevika Project, conceptualised by Udhampur district administration, at Chhattrambli in Chak Rakwalan panchayat

* Inaugurated/laid foundation of various ongoing works such as augmentation of 33/11 KV, 6.3 MVA to 10 MVA at receiving station Devika Ghat & Dhar road, installation of 1.60 MVA 22O/132 KV/11 KV transformer at grid station, approach road to Disaster Management Complex at Birwan, construction of road from Pad Devta bridge to Kund Devta (Jaganoo), repair and renovation of old block of Dak Bungalow, modernisation of club building complex , upgrade of PHE distribution network in Udhampur town, constructions of water supply schemes at Malad, Battal, Thanoa svail, Cupar Chang, Rathian Udhampur, besides various works of executed by Rural Development Department under 14th Finance Commission, MGNREGA, SBM, and PMAY

* Inaugurated murals made on walls of Subhash Stadium; participated in a plantation drive

Debasree Choudhari, MoS, Women and Child Development:

* Laid foundation stones for construction of roads from machine Domana to Chibba Chak village in Bhalwal block and Lahori Chak, Gajansoo Bazaar to Rathua in Marh block, both in Jammu district

Pratap Chandra Sarangi, MoS, Animal Husbandary, Dairying and Fisheris, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises:

* Inaugurated a common facility centre constructed at a cost of Rs 49.50 lakh at Ramkote, road links from Kandharnu to Nand and Dhar road to Bardhata constructed under PMGSY at a cost of Rs 2.19 crore and Rs 1.43 crore respectively

* Link road from Dhar road constructed under MGNREGA at a cost of Rs 6.86 lakh in Billawar sub-division of Kathua district

* Presented six cheques worth Rs 2.55 lakh to beneficiaries of Marriage Assistance Scheme, besides five LPG connections to beneficiaries under Ujjwala Yojana

* Inaugurated stalls of various departments including horticulture, sheep husbandry, agriculture, handicrafts and social welfare put up on the occasion to exhibit farming implements, high-yielding seeds and other products and schemes.

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