New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI) Union minister Jitendra Singh inaugurated 23 road and bridge projects worth around Rs 73 crore in Kathua, Udhampur, Doda and Reasi districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, according to an official statement.
The projects involve a road length of 111 kilometers that will benefit more than 35,000 people in the region, it said.
'The 23 projects include 15 roads built under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for all weather connectivity and eight bridges for better connectivity to people,' the statement issued by the Personnel Ministry said.
While e-inaugurating the projects, Singh said despite serious challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last few months, barring a few, all projects were completed within the stipulated time frame.
He emphasised that despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the country and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in particular had not compromised with the pace of development.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, was informed that 1,150 kilometres of roads have been built in Jammu and Kashmir till date in this fiscal, in comparison to 800 kilometres last year.
Singh said in the last six years of the Modi government, the work culture in the country has undergone a sea change and projects are now being cleared on need-based requirements, rather than on any other considerations.
Of the Rs 4,175 crore of the PMGSY central funds for new projects, about Rs 3,884 crore have been allocated to the Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha constituency, he said, adding that the allocation of nearly two-thirds of the funds for the hilly and inhospitable terrain of Udhampur, Kathua and Doda is testimony to this, he added.
Giving an insight into the various development projects constructed in the constituency, the minister said the highest railway bridge in the world -- 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris -- is being constructed in Reasi district.
He reiterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised upon all to dedicate completed development projects to the people of the country without waiting for a formal inauguration, according to the statement.
Singh said the government gives primacy to people's needs and that people should not face difficulties of any kind for the sake of a formal inauguration of various development projects.
He said the government is steadfast and committed in completing all the projects that have started in the last six years in a time-bound manner notwithstanding various hurdles like the COVID-19 crisis.
The minister urged the officials to adhere to the timelines and fast-track land acquisition and forest clearance so that development works continue unhindered. PTI AKV RC