STATE TIMES NEWS NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and MoS PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh said that newly created Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will get Northeast like focus and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself, time and again, reiterated in recent weeks that Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will receive same priority and impetus which was given to eight States of North Eastern Region during last five years, thus resulting in a revolutionary transformation over there. Speaking during a media interview here on Monday, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Northeast as many as 30 to 35 times during his first five years’ term as Prime Minister and he is now showing same personal indulgence towards Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as well. He said, if Northeast today has emerged as a model of development because of the focused outreach by Modi government, there is no reason why the same cannot be replicated in case of the new Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, where there is a relative ease of connectivity and communication. Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that when BJP government came in 2014, Northeast made news mostly for terrorist encounters or protracted road blockages, but today, all that is a thing of past and we have trains running to peripheral areas where people had never seen a railway engine. This, he said, was possible because of close monitoring of development projects and accountability of the utilization of central funds. In case of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh also, Dr Jitendra Singh said, a professional work culture with a check on corruption and pilferage of central funds could possibly result in transformation of a much larger scale because of relative ease of certain constraints. He expressed satisfaction that within last few months itself, Jammu & Kashmir has achieved several significant goals like, for example, peaceful holding of local body elections to Panchayats and Block Development Councils, abolition of Inter-State Check Post, introduction of GeM Portal, initiation of digitalisation in governance, etc. Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Union government’s outreach programme involving 36 Ministers’ visit to Jammu & Kashmir recently proved quite successful and added that same process would continue in future also, either in similar or in modified form. A similar Ministerial outreach programme was also carried out in the Northeast and it resulted in filling-up the gaps at both physical as well as psychological level, he added.
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