Suchetgarh- Sialkote Road To Boost Trade: Mufti
17 August 2005
The Daily Excelsior
R S Pura: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said the opening of Suchetgarh-Sialkote road would promote trade in a big way besides allowing free movement of people on both sides. 'I do not know if Pakistan has any reservations about the road today but I am confident that the day would soon come when it would be opened', he said at a public meeting after laying the foundation stone of a degree college here. 'The opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road has helped the divided families meet each other. A prospect of vast trade activity will take place on both sides when the Suchetgarh-Sialkote road would be opened,' Sayeed said, adding it would open the door for development on either side of the border. 'Nobody can stop that day to arrive,' he declared. As R.S. Pura is known for agriculture, especially Basmati cultivation, the Chief Minister asked the local farmers to diversify agriculture for maximum benefit. He also called for a study to see why per hectare production is more in neighbouring Punjab with similar agro climatic conditions. He said R.S. Pura Basmati has entered the Gulf market where it is relished by people. He, however, stressed on the need to look for other market oriented produce like cut-flowers and vegetables. The Chief Minister said foundation of the degree college here is a great day for the local people whom he complimented for maintaining secular traditions. He said R. S. Pura is a true symbol of secularism and its population is forward looking. He recalled with fondness his association with Late Bhagat Chhaju Ram. Giving an overview of the measures taken by his Government in expanding and consolidating education sector in Jammu and Kashmir, Sayeed said more than what had been done in past over five decades has been achieved in just two and half years. He said 10,000 new schools and 22 degree colleges were opened while over 400 schools were upgraded, He said post graduate classes were introduced in degree colleges and 2 new universities and 4 university campuses added in the State. He said the drop out rate in Government schools has gone down to 4 percent after taking significant measures like introducing nursery classes and English language as a compulsory subject from 1st primary. He said special focus is on the introduction of job oriented subjects in the newly created colleges and PG courses. The Chief Minister announced Rs. 15 lakh each for the development of a park and construction of a community hall at R. S. Pura. Deputy Chief Minister, Mangat Ram Sharma said that following the peace and tranquility on borders the farmers of R. S. Pura and other border areas can now cultivate their lands up to the fence. He said few years before when the coalition Government assumed office the situation was entirely different and the agriculture lands were mined and farmers could not venture out there for normal agriculture activity. He said on the instance of the UPA Chairperson, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi records have been prepared for alternate places for rehabilitation of the dislocated border population. However, he said there was now no need for their rehabilitation as they have returned to their homes. Minister for education, Harsh Dev Singh said the coalition Government opened 22 colleges while in the preceding 100 years only 32 colleges had been set up in the State. He said the previous Government had banned opening of even a primary school in the State citing the reason of paucity of funds. He said the coalition Government inherited the same exchequer but opened 10000 new schools. He said while the previous Government was miser on schools it exhibited large heart in opening liquor shops. He said only hollow promises were made by the former regime while the present Government did more that it had committed. Minister for Education, Harsh Dev Singh, Minister for Health, Suman Lata Bhagat, Ministers of State, Babu Singh, Manjit Singh and Chowdhary Gharu Ram, MP, Trilok Singh Bajwa and legislator Farida Mir were present.