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Kishtwar, Doda deliberately ignored by earlier Governments: Dr Jitendra Singh

KISHTWAR: Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh said here today that Kishtwar and erstwhile Doda districts were deliberately ignored by earlier governments and challenged anybody to come forward and compare the magnitude of development accomplished in the last nearly seven years with the earlier seven decades.

Addressing a series of meetings of BJP workers during his election tour of Kishtwar and Doda districts, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, it is not for the opposition but for us to ask why even the main development works and the main highway roads were ignored in spite of the fact that this region was represented by important Ministers at the Central and State level for the last 70 years.

He said, even the important road from Doda to Kishtwar was upgraded and developed at a cost of Rs.100 Cr. through Central fund only four years back while the Doda to Bhaderwah road which was always a site of landslides is now better than many of the main highway roads and now the journey can be completed within 30 to 40 minutes.

Making a dig at the critics who say that they see no development in this region, Dr. Jitendra Singh asked these wise men are they driving along these roads without looking at them and if they cannot appreciate because of the bias, let them inquire from local inhabitants the difference between before and now.  

However, he said, even if the critics do not see the developments, it does not matter because those who have to vote for us are seeing the benefits of this development and also acknowledging it.

This is for the first time, said Dr Jitendra Singh, that in Doda and Kishtwar, we have a new alternate highway coming up from Khilani via Marmat to Sudhmahadev and we have three important tunnels being brought up by the Central agencies including the Chandergalla Tunnel and the Kaljugar Tunnel connecting Himachal Pradesh. It is within the last four years that four biggest power projects in Jammu & Kashmir have come up in Kishtwar in addition to a Saffron Park and sanction for Sapphire Mines, he said.

The first of its kind National Institute of High Altitude Medicine at Bhaderwah and the Government Medical College at Doda have also come up in the last six years, he added.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also accused the former Central and State Ministers from the region of depriving their own native places of connectivity and development because they felt insecure at the prospect of people becoming awakened and challenging their leadership. In this regard, he mentioned the example of Gandoh where the first Post Office was set up only four years back though this place claims to have produced some of the leaders of national level.

As for the empowerment of grassroot democracy is concerned, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the single biggest achievement under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that Jammu & Kashmir is going to have District Development Councils for the first time after independence.

He asked, why those who were asking for autonomy and self-rule for Jammu & Kashmir did not allow establishment of three-tier grassroot autonomy which would have given democracy to the local representatives and why they did not allow the implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendment of the constitution which would have given financial empowerment to local Panchayats and Block and District level representatives.

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