Union minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday accused earlier governments of deliberately neglecting Jammu and Udhampur regions due to vote bank considerations and highlighted different development work being done by the Centre.
He cited the example of demand for a radio station in Udhampur which was first raised during the Indo-Pak war of 1965, but it was set up only four years back by the Modi government. Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, pointed out that his Udhampur Parliamentary constituency is the only one in the country which has got three medical colleges from central grants.
Similarly, the first two highway villages of the country are also coming up in Udhampur and Kathua, a statement issued by the Union personnel ministry said. To the critics who allege that no development of roads has happened, Singh reminded that only last year the Ministry of Rural Development adjudged district Udhampur as number one in accomplishing Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) road projects, it said.
Accusing the early governments of having deliberately neglected this region because of vote bank consideration, he said, in the last seven to eight years, several such demands have sought to be addressed which were pending for the last half a century, according to the statement. The minister visited areas of Jammu and Udhampur areas on Saturday to review different development work being done there.
During his visit to the construction site of Government Medical College (GMC), Udhampur, which is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 255 crore, he emphasised upon the concerned departments to start the work without any delay so that the classes could commence from the next year onwards.
Singh also pointed out that Udhampur Parliamentary constituency is the only one in the country which has got three medical colleges from central grants. He also visited the grand festive event 'Devika Utsav' which was held at the banks of Devika river in Udhampur.
The event was held to celebrate the completion of development work under 'River Devika Abatement and Beautification Project' of the National River Conservation Plan. Speaking on the occasion, he said, river Devika is not merely a project but a matter of faith for all of us. He reiterated that the holy project of Devika does not belong to a particular political party or an individual but it is equally owned by each one of us.
Therefore, Singh said, he had been repeatedly suggesting to the administration to entertain and accommodate inputs and suggestions coming from every person regardless of his ideological belief or political affiliation, as long as these could add value to the project.
He further said when Modi launched the ‘Namami Gange’ project in 2014, a similar thought came to mind to start the River Devika Abatement and Beautification Project as Devika is considered as the elder sister of Ganga.
Singh said there has been a delay in the execution of the project, partly because of Covid and because of the lapses on the part of the contractor agency which has now been subjected to penalty and also issued a blacklist warning. He hoped that the remaining work of the project, mainly pertaining to floriculture, beautification and recreation complex, will also be completed soon. Pertinent to mention that the launching of the Devika project was announced by Modi during his visit to Jammu in February 2019, the statement added.
-With PTI Inputs