Jammu: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr. Jitendra Singh today said that Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar will become North India’s major “power hub” generating around 6,000 MW of power after the completion of the ongoing power projects.
Dr Jitendra Singh who was scheduled to address two public rallies at Nagseni and Dachhan respectively, cancelled both the rallies as a mark of respect to the victims of tragic train accident in Odisha and instead convened a detailed meeting to review the progress of various Hydroelectric power projects in the Kisthwar and Doda districts. NHPC Chairman Rajiv Vishnoi, Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Devansh Yadav and officials of Central and UT governments updated the Minister about the progress of the projects.
Later, Dr Jitendra Singh also visited remote, far flung,hilly region of Dachhan
Former J&K Minister Sunil Sharma, DDC Members, local PRI representatives and prominent political leaders, BJP President Chuni Lal, senior leaders Tariq Keen,Pradeep Parihar, Cap Hukum Chand as well as a number of political persons of the region accompanied the visit during the visit.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the surplus power from Kishtwar will not only be utilised for other parts of the UT, but could also be availed by other States. He lamented that the rich natural resources of Chenab were not exploited by the previous governments which ruled J&K for 60-65 years.
This, the Minister said, makes Kishtwar region as a major power hub of North India. He also assured 100 percent reservation for locals in unskilled jobs for these projects and promised to give preference to local talent in skilled manpower requirements.
Pertinent to mention that the largest capacity project is Pakal Dul with a capacity of 1000 MW. Its estimated cost, as of now, is Rs. 8,112.12 crores and expected timeline of competition is 2025. Another major project is Kiru Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 624 MW. The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 4,285.59 crores and the timeline in this case is also 2025.
Another Project located about 43 km from Kishtwar is Kwar Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 624 MW. The estimated cost of this project is Rs.4526.12 crore and the timeline of competition is 54 months. About 25 kilometers upstream of Kiru Hydroelectric project is another Hydroelectric project Kirthai II Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 930 MW.
At the same time, 850 MW Ratle project has been revived as a joint venture between the centre and UT of J&K. In addition, the existing Dulhasti power station has an installed capacity of 390 MW, while Dulhasti II Hydroelectric project will have a capacity of 260 MW.
Dr Jitendra Singh said these projects shall not only augment the power supply position thereby making up for the shortage of power supply in the UT of J&K , but the huge investment being made for construction of these projects is also a boost for direct as well as indirect opportunities for the local people.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, before 2014, road travel to Kishtwar was cumbersome and on the slightest landside, the Doda-Kishtwar road got blocked. But today, the road travel time from Jammu to Kishtwar has reduced from over 7 hours in 2014 to less than 5 hours now. Similarly, he said, during these 9 years, Kishtwar has come up on the Aviation Map of India and has been sanctioned an airport under Centre’s UDAAN Scheme, which nobody had ever imagined.
The Minister said, Kishtwar has got an AYUSH Hospital, while Padar was given a Kendriya Vidyalaya under Centre’s RUSA scheme, because the then State Government had declined to do so.
Similarly, Dr Jitendra singh said, three new national highways including Khilani-Sudhmahadev Highway, a series of Degree Colleges, mobile towers enroute Machail Yatra and other remote areas have also come up during the Modi government, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh called upon the citizens to motivate the youth to avail maximum benefit of the StartUp avenues under Aroma Mission which has already picked up in the neighbouring Bhaderwah and is seen as a hitherto unexplored source of livelihood.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that areas like Jammu & Kashmir, North-Eastern States and other hilly States suffered on many counts during the last 60-65 years, due to myopic policies of the successive Central Governments, but soon after the Modi government took over in 2014, Prime Minister had stated that every effort would be made to bring the North Eastern region, J&K and other backward regions at par with the more developed regions of the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will always be credited for having introduced a new work culture in India wherein each of the pro-poor and public welfare schemes were designed in such a manner so as to reach the most needy or the last man in the last queue, regardless of cast, creed, religion or vote consideration. Similarly, considering the emerging scenario of contemporary India, Modi has constantly boosted StartUps who should be capable of earning their own livelihood, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said revolutionary schemes like Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, Jan Dhan, Ujjawala, Sauchalaya, PM Aawas, Har Ghar Jal, Har Ghar Bijli and Ayushman have reached every nook and corner of the country including in hilly and difficult terrains like Kishtwar. He said, people are getting the benefits of welfare schemes without any discrimination, unlike in the past, when appeasement policy was rampant. The Minister emphasised that these welfare measures brought crores of people out of the clutches of abject poverty and gave them a life of dignity.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, areas with unexplored potential like Kishtwar, North-East and other hilly regions will play a pivotal role in the next 25 years of India’s journey and these regions, rather than the saturated states, will propel India as a frontline nation in the world, when it celebrates 100th year of independence in 2047.