Jammu: Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh on Saturday Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh on Saturday slammed the opposition parties for not taking a clear and united stand against the “terrorism and Pak sponsored terrorism in J&K.”
He was speaking to media persons after reviewing a record 68 roads, completed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) at Kathua in Jammu region.
The Union Minister, however, deferred the formal inauguration due to ‘State mourning’ observed today as a mark of respect to the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who passed away on May 13.
Dr Jitendra said that the killings of the innocent people were “heart-wrenching” yet they were an act of frustration by the “terrorists and their sponsors in Pakistan” against stern resolve and zero tolerance policy of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led central government and the UT administration against the acts of terror.
“Forces working against the peace and development of J&K are resorting to killing innocent people but the government is committed to eliminate them. However, the opposition parties and their leaders resort to lip-service to the victims of terror yet don’t have the courage to take a clear stand on terrorists and Pak sponsored terrorism in J&K,” he said.
Dr Jitendra, who is also the Union Minister of State (independent charge) Ministry of Earth Sciences, Minister of State (independent charge) Ministry of Science and Technology besides MoS PMO and Minister of State Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances Singh, stated that built at a cost of over Rs 547 Cr, all-weather roads measuring up to 526 kilometres were likely to benefit a population of over one lakh 20,000 people, most of them living in far-flung hilly areas.
He said, despite serious challenges posed by the COVID19 pandemic, barring few, all the projects were completed within stipulated time frame. He emphasised that despite challenges posed by the pandemic, the country had not compromised with the pace of development and particularly the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said roads were the lifeline of a developing nation which would bring benefits in various sectors like education, health, marketing of agricultural produce and would bring many social benefits as well.
The Union Minister also reviewed the completion work of 22 bridges constructed at a cost of Rs 29.50 Cr and the same would also be dedicated to the people soon.
Dr Jitendra Singh said in the last 7-8 years of the Modi government, the work culture in the country had undergone a sea change and projects were now being cleared on need-based requirements, rather than on any other considerations. He emphasised that in sanctioning of new road projects, the priority was given to views of Sarpanches and other local elected representatives rather than to requests made by local MPs or MLAs.
He also informed that his Parliamentary constituency of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda received the highest allocation of PMGSY grant since 2014 in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said, out of the Rs 4,175 Cr of the PMGSY central funds for new projects, about Rs 3,884 Cr were allocated, the amount was nearly two-thirds of the funds for the hilly and inhospitable terrain of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda.
At the review meeting, Dr Jitendra, highlighted the government’s initiatives towards strengthening road connectivity in the UT, and said that it was the firm commitment of present dispensation that every part of the Jammu and Kashmir would get a durable road network for rapid growth and development.
He said that the government was committed to provide the benefit of the schemes like PMAY, PMGSY, and MGNREGA to the people living in the far off panchayats and blocks and other difficult areas of Jammu & Kashmir.