The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh on Wednesday unveiled 23 roads and bridges projects in Kathua, Doda, Udhampur and Reasi districts in the Jammu region of the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir through video conferencing.
Dr. Singh is a Member of Parliament from the Udhampur constituency in the Jammu region.
In his brief address on the occasion, Dr. Singh said that the projects costing about Rs 730 million and having a length of 111 km will benefit more than 35,000 people in the region. A total of 23 projects including 15 roads built under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for all-weather connectivity and 8 bridges for better connectivity to the people.
Dr. Singh added that despite serious challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last few months, barring a few all the projects were completed within the stipulated timeframe. He emphasised that despite challenges posed by the pandemic, the country had not compromised with the pace of development and particularly the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. He was informed that 1,150 km of roads were built in this fiscal till date in comparison to 800 km last year.
Dr. Singh said that in the last six years of the Modi Government, the work culture had undergone a transformation and projects were being cleared on need-based requirements, rather than on any other considerations.
He said the allocation of nearly two-third of PMGSY funds for the hilly and inhospitable terrain of Udhampur, Kathua and Doda was a testimony of this. Out of Rs 41.75 billion of PMGSY funds, about Rs 38.84 billion were given to the above three areas, he added.
Dr. Singh reiterated that Prime Minister Modi had emphasised upon all to dedicate completed development projects to people of the country without waiting for their formal inauguration. He said that the Central Government gave primacy to people’s needs and that people should not face difficulties of any kind for the sake of formal inauguration of various developmental projects. He said that the government was steadfast and committed to completing all the projects that were started in the last six years in a time-bound manner notwithstanding various hurdles like the coronavirus crisis.
Giving an insight into the various development projects constructed in district Reasi, Dr. Singh said that the highest railway bridge in the world being constructed there was 35 meters taller than Paris’ Eiffel Tower.
Dr. Singh urged the officials to adhere to timelines and also fast-track the land acquisition and forest clearance on priority so that developmental works could continue unhindered.