BJP stands for separate district for Billawar-Basohli: Dr Jitendra

Billawar, Jan 7: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that the BJP has always stood for a separate district for Billawar-Basohli and when it comes to power in Jammu & Kashmir, it will propose a Hill district for the region.

Addressing a public meeting here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said, BJP has, in its organisational set up, already recognised Billawar-Basohli as a separate district for many years now and the allocation of organisational responsibilities is also done accordingly. He said, the reorganisation of districts done last time by the PDP-Congress coalition government was arbitrary and devoid of rationale.

At that time also, said the Minister, though we were in opposition in J&K, we had strongly demanded a separate hill district for Billawar-Basohli but the Reorganisation Committee constituted by the then government did not pay any heed and instead, decided to have ten districts each for each of the two divisions of Kashmir and Jammu. This was done at the behest of the then ruling coalition for their political considerations, he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the entire Billawar-Basohli belt is endowed with natural beauty, rich traditional art particularly painting and people from here have made name for themselves in different walks of life including medical profession, administration, creative arts, etc. However, he lamented that the governments in the past followed a policy of regional discrimination, as a result of which this region did not receive its due.

Recalling the last eight to nine years of the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Jitendra Singh said that from 2014 onwards, there has been an equitable allocation of central funds and resources for every region and particularly after J&K turned into Union Territory in 2019 there has been a conscious attempt to ensure that every section of people and every region gets its due.

Dr Jitendra Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for facilitating the approval of the landmark Chattergala tunnel linking this area to Doda-Bhaderwah , which will drastically reduce the journey time, besides generating revenue and employment. He informed that the Ministery of Road Transport and Highways Minister had issued the instructions to include the Chattergala Tunnel in the new Bharatmala Project.

On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to an amount of over Rs. 75 Lakh from his MP Fund which has been allocated for the area despite the COVID pandemic. He said, while Rs 25 Lakh of MP fund was spent on construction work in Mandli, another Rs 25 lakh of MP fund is also being supplemented for extending the same work. At the same time, additional Rs 25 Lakh of MP fund is being allocated for a Community Hall in Baddu.

Dr Jitendra Singh also said that he has advised the district administration to run a special drive to promote the world famous Basohli paintings so that people from far and wide get to know of the artistic excellence of this area.

Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion were DDC Chairman Col Mahan Singh, Municipal Chairman S K Basotra, BJP District President Dinesh Singh Thakur, DDC Members Vikram Singh, Narayan Dutt Tripathi and Neeru Rajput. All of them one after the other lauded the development work done by Dr Jitendra Singh during his tenure as MP.

Earlier on his arrival this morning, Dr Jitendra Singh was given a rousing welcome by BJYM youth workers who took out a Bike Rally accompanying him to the venue of the programme. Dr Jitendra Singh was stopped at four different places on his way to Billawar by cheering crowds who had gathered on the roadside to welcome him.

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