August 2003 News

Train to Kashmir by 2007: PM

29 August 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today expressed satisfaction at the implementation of two packages announced by him for Jammu and Kashmir involving Rs 14,944 crore and said the first train will reach the Valley by August 15, 2007. Concluding his two-day visit to the Valley to attend crucial 8th Inter-State Council meeting, Mr Vajpayee said in a statement here that projects to the amount of Rs 9,184 crore out of the total announced had already been sanctioned and the Centre was closely monitoring the implementation of these two packages. Mr Vajpayee said the railway line upto Udhampur will be completed by March 31, next year and upto Katra by March 31, 2005. He said the second package to the amount Rs 6,425 crore, which he had announced in April this year provides for employment generation. The task force was set up on May 23 under the Cabinet Secretary. It has submitted its report and the Centre has taken steps to implement its recommendations, he said. While giving a break-up of the one lakh employment opportunities, the Prime Minister said 38,170 persons under self-employment, 45,180 under wage employment and 16,650 under regular salaried employment category will be provided jobs. He said the total financial commitment to provide one lakh jobs will be Rs 3,000 crore. Out of this, Rs 2,700 crore will be provided from budgetary support and Rs 300 crore as bank credits, over a period of two years. The sectors under which the employment opportunities are being created are textiles, road and railways, small and medium industries, IT and communication, tourism and education, the Prime Minister added. Mr Vajpayee yesterday, handed over cheques and sanction letters amounting to Rs 1.47 crore to the first set of 272 beneficiaries here for employment and self-emloyment schemes in various sectors. The State Government on its part is recruiting third teachers in primary schools. About 7,000 people are also being recruited for home and hearth force. The Baglihar hydro power project costing Rs 3,800 crore is under implementation by the State Government which has already spent Rs 1,600 crore. The additional Rs 2,200 crore will be given through bank within one month. Mr Vajpayee said specific attention was being paid for promotion of tourism and upgradation of tourism infrastructure and assistance to the State Government for the development of power sector. Mr Vajpayee had announced the packages during his visit to the Valley in May 2002 and April 2003. He said he had reviewed the progress of the schemes before he left Delhi and 'I am happy to note that all the ministries and departments are taking full interest in implementation of these schemes.' Out of the 26 schemes announced in May 2002, 10 have been implemented and the remaining 16 are at various stages of implementation. The work on these schemes is going on smoothly, Mr Vajpayee said. The package announced in April this year, is also under implementation and contains 10 schemes, of which one has been implemented and other nine at various stages of implementation, he said. (UNI)


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