STATE TIMES NEWS REASI: Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash on Thursday listened to people’s issues, while chairing a public meeting, here at village Thanpal of block Thakrakote. BDC Chairman, of block Thakrakote, Rajinder Singh, BDC Chairperson, block Jij, Shareefa Begum, Sarpanchs, Panchs and a large number of locals of twin blocks interacted with the Union Minister and projected issues of public importance. Responding to the demands, Union Minister reiterated that the central government is committed to development of Jammu & Kashmir with special focus on making available high end services under health, education, power and Public Health Engineering sectors. ‘The government’s commitment can be gauged by the fact that the Union Ministers are personally visiting the newly formed Union Territory to assess the ground situation and to know about the expectations of the people, he said. ‘With terrorism finally dying down, our sole aim is development of the region’, he added. Terming conduct of BDC elections in J&K as a historic move, he congratulated the people for their massive participation in the same. He also said that the government is planning to release development funds to the tune of Rs 50-80 lakh per village every year to strengthen rural infrastructure. He also assured of the government’s resolve to fight unemployment by filling in vacant posts in various departments of the UT. In response to repeated demand of promoting the Reasi district as a major tourist destination, the Union Minister assured to take all possible measures in this regard. He said that Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Katra, started recently, is also expected to increase tourist footfall in the district. Some major demands raised by the locals included provision of a Kendriya Vidyalaya in the area, sanctioning of model village projects, a mini hydro power project and avenues of employment for the local youth in NHPC project. Earlier, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Rajinder Sharma gave detailed information about the developmental scenario of the district, while listing completed and ongoing projects. Earlier, the Union Minister inaugurated a newly constructed road from District Hospital to Nai Basti Chowk and presented sanction letters for Old Age Pension, Widow Pension and Marriage Assistance Schemes to several eligible beneficiaries.
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