Kishtwar, July 15: Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh on Friday said that Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar would become North India’s major “power hub” generating nearly 6,000 MW of power after the completion of the ongoing power projects.
Addressing a public rally through virtual mode from Jammu, as he could not make it to Kishtwar due to inclement weather, Dr Jitendra said that the surplus power from Kishtwar would not only be utilised for other parts of the UT, but would also be sold to other states. He lamented that the rich natural resources of Chenab were not exploited by the previous governments which ruled J&K for 60-65 years.
Pertinent to mention that 1000 MW Pakal Dul project, 624 MW Kiru project, 540 MW Kwar project and 930 MW Kirthai project are all located in close vicinity of each other along with 850 MW Ratle project, which has been revived as a Joint venture between the Centre and the UT.
“This makes Kishtwar region as one of the biggest power hubs of North India,” the Minister said. He also announced 100 percent reservation for locals in unskilled jobs for these projects and promised to give preference to local talent in skilled manpower requirements.
Dr Jitendra, who is also the Union Minister of State (independent charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (independent charge) Earth Sciences besides MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, said, before 2014, road travel to Kishtwar was cumbersome and on the slightest landside, the Doda-Kishtwar road got blocked. “But today, the road travel time from Jammu to Kishtwar has reduced from over 7 hours in 2014 to less than 5 hours now. Similarly, during these 8 years, Kishtwar has come up on the aviation map of India and has been sanctioned an airport under Centre’s UDAAN scheme, which nobody had ever imagined,” he said.
“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. Overall, in the erstwhile Doda district of which Kisthwar was a part, India’s first-ever National Institute of High-Altitude Medicine is coming up in Bhaderwah and centrally funded Medical College has already started in Doda,” he said.
Similarly, three new national highways including Khilani-Sudhmahadev Highway, a series of degree colleges, mobile towers enroute Machail Yatra and other remote areas also came up during the Modi government, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh called upon the citizens to motivate the youth to avail maximum benefit of the StartUp avenues in Aroma Mission, Purple Revolution and Lavender cultivation, which had already picked up in the neighbouring Bhaderwah and was seen as a hitherto unexplored source of livelihood.
He said that areas like Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern States and other hilly states suffered on many counts during the last 60-65 years, 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.