Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh said that today is the historic day for the people of Mansar Region, as the Mansar Lake Development Plan is getting fulfilled after a long wait of 70 years. Speaking after the e-Foundation stone laying ceremony of the Comprehensive Mansar Lake Rejuvenation/Development Plan, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the number of national projects initiated in the region during the last over 6 years are more than the number of such projects initiated in the earlier 7 decades. The incredible development is too obviously visible to go unnoticed. The Minister said that after its implementation, the number of Tourists/pilgrims will increase from current 10 lakhs to 20 lakhs per year in Mansar region. Dr. Jitendra Singh said that Mansar Rejuvenation Plan will lead to employment generation of about 1.15 crore man-days and will generate more than Rs 800 crore of income per year.
Ever since the Modi government took over, said Dr Jitendra Singh, Jammu & Kashmir has received highest priority in the development and particularly the Udhampur-Doda-Kathua parliamentary constituency, which can be compared to any other Lok Sabha constituency of India for its landmark developmental works. He pointed out that while Udhampur-Doda-Kathua is possibly the only Lok Sabha constituency in the country which has received 3 Medical Colleges in 3 years, Udhampur possibly the only District in the country which has on the lines of Namami Ganga and Ganga cleaning project, received two similar rejuvenation and renovation projects for River Devika and Mansar Lake respectively.
While both these projects, namely Devika Project and Mansar project, said Dr Jitendra Singh will cost about Rs.200 Crore, there are other similarities as well. For example, River Devika said to be the sister of mother Ganga, the Mansar lake finds reference in the ancient writings of Mahabharata.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that over the last 6 years many such new projects were initiated that were beyond the imagination of anybody and similarly the dumped projects were also revived after decades. He cited that Shahpur Kandi Irrigation Projects which were revived after 4 decades with the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Ujh multipurpose project has also been revived after over 5 decades. In the same vicinity, he said, North India’s first Bio-tech Industrial Park and the first ever Seed-Processing Plant are also coming up, which will generate job opportunities as well as sources of livelihood and research.
Dr Jitendra Singh referred to the Katra-Delhi expressway corridor, the work for which has been started and also the work on the extensions of four lanes, to a Jammu national highway, into 6 lanes. He said, while the world’s highest railway bridge is coming up in Reasi, the work on a new national highway project from Sudhmahadev via Marmat to Khileni has also started.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, rising above considerations of vote banks, it has been an effort to provide facilities developed in the neglected areas. He said, while the distant area Paddar in Kishtwar got its first centrally funded college two years back, a new airport is coming up in Kishtwar under the Central Government’s UDAN Scheme. Similarly, the far flung area of Poghal-Ukhraj and Marmat got their first ever Degree College, Gandoh got its first ever Post Office and although these areas have been over the decades represented by the Central Ministers and the State.
In his address, Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of UT of Jammu and Kashmir said that Mansar is of immense importance from Pilgrimage as well Heritage point of view beyond being the most scenic attraction due to vast Mansar Lake and its flora and fauna. He said that tourism contributes to 7 percent of GDP of Jammu and Kashmir, but due to Corona, the sector got hit badly. He said, all efforts are being made to provide relief to people associated with Tourism industry on a large scale. He said that Centre has given Rs 706 Crore for tourism sector and multi-pronged approach is being adopted to bring Jammu and Kashmir as one of the most preferred tourist destination in the World Map.
Advisor to LG of J&K Baseer Ahmad Khan, Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary,Tourism, Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma, Director, Tourism, Jammu R.K.Katoch, CEO of Surinsar-Mansar Development Authority Dr. Gurvinder Jit Singh, and other senior officials from Jammu and Srinagar joined the Webinar and e-inauguration event.