Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir will witness “a new dawn of peace and development” as various measures are underway to ensure holistic development of the Union Territory.
Prasad made his remarks in Baramulla district’s Sopore. It wa the third day of his visit to the Valley, as part of the Centre’s outreach programme.
Prasad stated that the Centre is committed to ensure holistic development of all the regions of J&K, adding that several economic sectors, including horticulture and tourism, shall be developed and upgraded along modern lines.
Urging the people to cooperate in taking the region to new heights of development, the minister said that “time has come to change the fate of Kashmir through peace, progress and prosperity”.
Prasad said the Sopore Fruit Mandi shall be developed as an e-mandi, wherein it shall be integrated with the rest of the fruit mandis of the country. He said that Sopore is best endowed with apple tourism and it can play a larger role in the socio-economic development of the region.
Continuing his interaction with the chairpersons of the Block Development Councils, he said that the 73rd and 74th Amendments shall be effectively implemented to strengthen democracy.
A delegation of the Federation of Industrial Estate Sopore, that met the minister on Thursday, demanded the elevation of Sopore sub-division as a district. They also demanded the construction of a mini-secretariat in the town, hi-tech ambulances for SDH Sopore, and the upgrading of infrastructure in schools and health institutions.
A delegation of the Fruit Association Sopore demanded uninterrupted movement of apple-ferrying vehicles on the national highway, compensation to orchardists whose property got damaged during the recent heavy snowfall and during floods in 2014, exemption in Kisan Credit Card loans, establishment of testing lab for pesticides, establishment of a truck terminal in North Kashmir, and other issues of vital public importance.
Meanwhile, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, in Srinagar on Friday, inaugurated 45 projects worth Rs 135 crore. He also inaugurated 25 Smart Schools in Srinagar.
Responding to a question on extremism in universities, he said, “There are more than 1,000 universities in the country, and they are the mainstay of any country and society. I have also said that universities are centres of learning and they should grow in mission mode in this direction. How do we come in international ranking, we cannot keep our students entangled in such small matters. That is why we will never let universities become the centre of this kind of politics.”
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