STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Accusing the Centre of being apathetic to the concerns of Jammu region and its people, Harsh Dev Singh, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister on Tuesday said that the Dogra land has continued to bear the brunt of discrimination even after the abrogation of Art 370 and the re-organisation of the J&K. While Kashmir continues to get unabated attention of the government, what falls in the lap of the nationalist Dogras is disillusionment, said Singh. He was referring to a slew of measures announced for Kashmir by the Central and State Governments after the abrogation of Art 370. Pointing towards the funds released for the two agricultural Universities of J&K by the government, Singh regretted that while SKUAST (K) was given Rs 20 crore, the SKUAST (J) was made to content with merely Rs 5 crore despite the two Universities enjoying identical status. Likewise, all vacant positions in SKUAST (K) were advertised for filling up, but no action was taken to advertise the vacancies in SKUAST (J) which could help the aforesaid University to make up its deficient faculty besides providing employment avenues to local youth, he revealed. Likewise the UT government has released Rs 11.89 crore for Kashmir Districts only under Back to Village programme without addressing the financial requirements of Jammu Districts. He said that only a couple of months back, the government had announced MIS for Kashmir farmers with Union Finance Minister further announcing a package of Rs 5,000 crores for lifting the apples, walnuts and saffron of Kashmir orchardists. And now the J&K Horticulture Department has prepared a report projecting the losses to Kashmir orchardists due to “untimely snowfall” in November 2019 worth Rs. 2297 crore including damages to apple trees, revealed Singh. Only recently the government issued an order to provide onions at control rates of Rs 33 per kg in Kashmir and Rs 40 per kg in Jammu, lamented Singh. Addressing a meeting in Khandwal village in Raipur-Domana constituency, Harsh regretted the recent shifting of Mountain Metrological Centre (MMC) and Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) from Jammu to Manali. Alleging collapse of rural infrastructure in the remote and far-flung areas of Jammu region, Singh castigated the government for fast deteriorating power, health and road sectors in particular. He said that while Lt Governor’s administration was fully responsive to the concerns of valley, the people living in remote areas of Jammu region were suffering badly in the chilly winters with none to address their concerns.
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