STATE TIMES NEWS UDHAMPUR: Union Minister of the State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Prahalad Singh Patel on Wednesday laid foundation stone of several projects and interacted with public representatives and locals here at Ramnagar. Outreach programme witnessed overwhelming participation of BDC Chairpersons, Sarpanches, Panchs and general public of adjoining panchayats of the Ramnagar Tehsil. Secretary to Government, Tourism Department, Zubair Ahmed; District Development Commissioner, Udhampur Dr. Piyush Singla; SSP, Rajiv Omparkash Pandey; Director Tourism, Deepika Sharma; Additional Secretary Tourism, Naresh Kumar; BDC Chairpersons, and all district Officers besides Sarpanches, Panches, Ex-MLA, Ramnagar were present on the occasion. On his arrival, the Union Minister laid foundation stone of improvement /up gradation work of Ramnagar to Basantgarh road, construction of road from Chountra Mata to Dheeran, construction of road from block Boundary Ramnagar to Dheeran, Construction of road from Plassain to Rang under PMGSY, Water Supply Scheme Ramnagar Town under PHE sector, besides various works of Rural Development Department to be executed under 14th Finance Commission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAYG), Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The Minister, accompanied with District Development Commissioner, Udhampur, Dr Piyush Singla also inspected stalls put up by Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Tourism, Fisheries, Handloom and Rural Development Departments for spreading public awareness about their schemes. The Union Minister called upon the officers to make sincere and dedicated efforts to make the general public aware about the Central and J&K Government schemes, as these are meant for uplifting rural people. Singh also distributed pension orders among beneficiaries under different social security schemes of Social Welfare Department, Golden cards under Ayushman Bharat, Mamta Kits under ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme and sports kits under Khelo India scheme to schools. In his address, the Union Minister said that the main purpose of the outreach programme is to take stock of development scenario on the ground . He added that the Central Government is committed to empower the weaker section of society and urged the public to participate in all development activities. While highlighting the importance of safe drinking water and health, he said Ayushman card is a gift of Prime Minister to poor people of the country, who were not able to afford health care services due to financial constraints. “The person possessing the golden card will get medical treatment free of cost,” he added. He said that Prime Minister of India has taken several new initiatives under core sectors to provide best facilities to common masses at their doorsteps. “Various beneficiary oriented schemes are launched by the GOI like Ujjawala Yojana, scholarship schemes for students, Saubhagya, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) etc. He said that outreach programmes like this will enhance the pace of developmental works and assured that Ramnagar, Basantgarh and Sudhmahadev ring road will be taken on priority. The Union Minister said that the Jammu and Kashmir UT is blessed with abundant natural splendour, which the government is tapping in a big way by developing new destinations, besides creating latest tourism infrastructural facilities. He assured that a team of tourism department will be deputed to Udhampur area for working out the modalities for the development of tourists sites in Udhampur district. He also assured that the central government is focusing on holistic development of the area. He interacted with staff and public and took review and feed back of different schemes being implemented on ground. Meanwhile, Patel also visited historical Ramnagar fort and directed the concerned department for its beautification. Minister also interacted with various deputations of the local areas and gave patient hearing to their demands. In evening Patel visited the historic Krimchi temples in Udhampur. Earlier, the District Development Commissioner, Udhampur Dr. Piyush Singla presented welcome address and highlighted existing and potential tourist spots in Udhampur district. DDC also highlighted the completed and ongoing major projects in the district. BDC Chairperson and Dy Chairman MC Ramnagar also spoke on the occasion and projected demand for inclusion of Dudu -Basantgarh area on tourist map.
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