Tremendous Progress In Kashmir Under PDP-Congress Rule: Pranab

16 December 2008
The Hindu

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 'periods of tremendous progress' under the People's Democratic Party (PDP)-Congress coalition government, including the commissioning of two major power projects, senior Congress leader and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Tuesday. In the context of the ongoing assembly elections being held in Jammu and Kashmir, the senior Congress leader said: 'Just because the PDP-Congress alliance did not last till its full period does not mean anybody can ignore the good work done by it.' The Congress-PDP government came to power after the 2002 elections. 'All the parts of the state saw development during that period as I have been associated in different capacities with the developmental progress made by the state,' he said. He said two major power projects, Dulhasti and Baglihar, were commissioned during the coalition rule and they had been pending commission for a long time earlier. He also said two major hospitals in Srinagar and Jammu were being upgraded to the level of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), a decision had been taken to set up an all-India university and Indian Institute of Management in Kashmir, and the Prime Minister's special relief package were just some of the strides made on the developmental side by the state. 'It was the need of the hour to increase people to people contact across the line of control (LOC) and in 2005 a bus service was started across the LOC. 'More routes were thrown open for people to people contact. On Oct 21, 2008, trade was also started across the LOC,' he said, claiming all these had been envisaged and realized by the coalition government. He also said it was during the coalition rule that five working groups had been set up and four of these had already made their recommendations on various issues relating to the state's progress.