Union minister visits Patnitop hill resort, assures support to promote tourism in J&K

JAMMU: Union Minister Gen (Retd) V K Singh on Wednesday visited the snow-covered hill resort of Patnitop in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir and said the Centre would provide all necessary support to promote tourism in the union territory, according to officials here.

The minister of state for road transport and highways was on a two-day visit to Jammu region as part of the Centre's week-long public outreach programme post the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories in August last year.

So far, nearly 24 union ministers have visited different parts of Jammu region since January 18, inspected development work, announced new projects and informed public about central projects and welfare schemes.

Singh was impressed with the facilities at Skyview Patnitop, the country''s highest ropeway and the largest Indo-French collaboration in mountain infrastructure development, the officials said.

The Skyview was built in 2.4 years and started commercial operations in July last year.

Welcomed by Skyview Patnitop''s team, the minister had an interaction with the management team and assured all the necessary support by the government to not only promote Skyview Patnitop but also to promote tourism in J&K, the officials said.

He also assured officials that the work on Udhampur-Chenani highway will be speeded up.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat e-inaugurated 42 water supply schemes completed at an estimated cost of Rs 73 crore, while chairing a high level meeting here.

The water supply schemes will cater to 2.32 lakh people and provide drinking water to 46,400 functional household tap connections of six districts of Baramulla, Kulgam and Anantnag in Kashmir and Poonch, Kathua and Jammu in Jammu divisions, the officials said.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary participated in a public outreach programme during a visit to Chak Chattakan, Ramgarh in Samba, while Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao conducted an outreach camp at Nowshera in Rajouri district.

The outreach witnessed overwhelming participation of Block Development Council chairpersons, sarpanchs, panchs and general public hailing from different areas, particularly the border areas, the officials said.

"The government is committed to ensure all-round development for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the current visit is part of the initiative to take efficient governance to the doorsteps of people," Shamrao said.

The minister said the vision of the present Government is to complete all the Schemes in minimum time. "There is no dearth of funds to cover the developmental deficit of Jammu and Kashmir."

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PTI