Flood-hit Saddal Panjar to be first smart village in Jammu and Kashmir: Dr Jitendra Singh

40 were buried alive after entire Saddal village in Udhampur vanished under landslides on September 6.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: January 23, 2015 7:36:24 pm
Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Jitendra Singh addressing a press conference in Jammu on Friday. PTI Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Jitendra Singh addressing a press conference in Jammu on Friday. (Source: PTI)

Jammu and Kashmir will have its first smart village built on the ruins of the one which had got totally washed away during floods in the state last year.

Disclosing this before handing over an over 40 newly constructed hutments to the families whose houses had got buried under landslides at Saddal. Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the newly built village will have all the amenities which are available in a smart village or a smart town including beauty salons, beauty parlours etc.” The hutments have been made at Panjar as part of the first phase of the smart village project which will be completed by mid 2016, he added.

“For the first time infact history is going to be made in a way that a village totally washed by floods has not been only adopted by us, but then in order to set an exemple we thought to build it as an ideal village and give it the nomenclature of a smart village,” Singh said, adding that “now as India marches to an era of smart towns and villages, the first smart village in Jammu Kashmir would be built on the ruins of a flood hit village.”

Hailing the contribution of Love Care Foudation, an NGO, and the support of various other corporate houses in completion of the project, the union minister said that his resources through MPLAD funds would not have been enough to build this village as he had already adopted three other villages under the Saansad Adrash Gram Yojna at Sangwali in Hiranagar and Khaleni in Doda district, besides a third one in Kishtwar. The corporate supporters include Concentric, Fanuc India and Bhushan Power & Steel.

“I am going to adopt at least half a dozen villages,” he said, adding that while work on three of them will be completed during his own five year term, the work will be started on the remaining others so that who so ever gets elected from the constituency next time is compelled to complete those projects.

Forty people were buried alive after entire Saddal village in Udhampur district vanished under landslides on September 6 last following incessant heavy downpour that led to worst ever floods in the state during the last 60 years.

Pointing out that he decided to develop Panjar taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept about smart villages and towns in the country, he said nearly 5,000 people comprising 85 families at Saddal were affected after the entire village got buried under landslides. While nearly half of them had shifted to Udhampur, the remaining ones stayed back and tried to build some hutments near Kasuri. However, as these were not found safe, we took up construction of hutments for them at Panjar, Dr Singh added.

“About 47 hutments are already there and the 47 families going  to be placed in those hutments today soon after we are flying to Panjar after this brief interaction,” the that union minister said, adding that “we would also be providing them basic needs like gas stoves, solar lights and warm clothes so that their basic living starts immediately today itself.”

“Apart from this, we would also be starting today a vocation training centre imparting six months insitutionalized training for young boys and girls in tailoring, computers and mobile phones,” he said.

“Thereafter, they can carry on with advanced training course wherever they require,” he said, adding that nearly Rs 50-60 lakh have been spent on this vocational centre. Another Rs 13 lakh is being earmarked for it, he pointed out, adding that within 18 months, Panjar would be developed into a smart village with all the amenities available in small towns.

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