Jammu and Kashmir set for projects worth Rs 25,000 crore by March 2021, says Piyush Goyal; describes UT as 'jewel' of country

  • Jammu and Kashmir will get at least 25 projects worth an estimated cost of Rs 25,000 crore by March 2021, said Union minister Piyush Goyal

  • He also described Jammu and Kashmir as a 'jewel' of the country and said the Centre would come out with an industrial package for the Union Territory soon

  • He asserted that development work has gathered pace in Jammu and Kashmir, especially after 18 June 2018 when the erstwhile state came under Governor's rule

Jammu and Kashmir will get at least 25 projects worth an estimated cost of Rs 25,000 crore by March 2021, The Times of India reported Union Minister Piyush Goyal as saying on Sunday. He also described Jammu and Kashmir as a "jewel" of the country and said the Centre would come out with an industrial package for the Union Territory soon and expressed hope that it would attract large amounts of investment to the Valley.

Goyal was in Jammu as part a week-long public outreach programme initiated by the Centre to apprise people of the potential benefits of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status after the nullification of Article 370 of the Constitution. Article 370 was abrogated on 5 August, 2019 and the state was bifurcated into Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, that came into effect on 31 October.

The Minister for Railways and Commerce also announced that Kashmir would be linked with the rest of the country by train by December next year. He asserted that development work has gathered pace in Jammu and Kashmir, especially after 18 June 2018 when the erstwhile state came under Governor's Rule.  He also said by March 2021, 25 projects would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 25,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I am very happy at the progress (of development) that I have seen on the ground and I am sure that in the days and months to come this process will continue relentlessly. We will soon come out with an industrial package and we hope to see large amounts of investment coming to Kashmir," he told reporters at the Jammu airport before returning to Delhi.

He was part of the second batch of seven Union ministers who reached Jammu and addressed a series of public meetings and inaugurated various projects in different districts.

 Jammu and Kashmir set for projects worth Rs 25,000 crore by March 2021, says Piyush Goyal; describes UT as jewel of country

File image of union minister Piyush Goyal. PTI

Besides Goyal, other Union ministers who visited different parts of Jammu as part of the week-long outreach programme included Smriti Irani, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Arjun Ram Meghwal, V Muraleedharan, Anurag Thakur, Jitendra Singh, RK Singh and Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Goyal inaugurated a flood protection project, an indoor stadium and various roads completed under Prime Minister's Grameen Sadak Yojna, besides addressing a public gathering in Akhnoor on the outskirts of Jammu. "Jammu and Kashmir people have become the monitors of development and with their participation, it is reaching to the grass-roots level. The work on the railway bridge over Chenab river, which was facing slow progress over the years, has gathered speed and for the first time the allocation of funds was utilised fully," he said.

The minister said the prime minister gave his nod when more funds were demanded to speed up the work of the railway bridge which will link Katra and Banihal towns in Jammu and complete the railway track from Baramulla in north Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

"After the completion of the railway line, the whole country will get connected. Anyone travelling from Kanyakumari to Kashmir can feel proud...the bridge is an engineering marvel and our engineers and workers are doing a great job by building the world largest bridge," he said, adding "we will continue the pace of work next year and are hopeful of connecting this vital 111-km railway track by December 2021". He said the union ministers get encouraged when they visit this "sacred land".

Referring to various development projects that were completed after the fall of the erstwhile PDP-BJP government, he said many development projects which were left incomplete over the past many decades witnessed fast-paced work under the administration of a lieutenant-governor.

"I understand that people want improved services, impartiality in development works and high-speed development, accountable government and information about the work being done," he said.

"In the past five years, we had the ability, each one of us would go to the northeast and the very presence of all of us helped generate so much enthusiasm that the entire landscape in the North East is now transformed and we would wish to see the same transformation journey and progress and development in Kashmir," he said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2020 14:34:35 IST