February 2021 News

Gas Pipeline For J&K, Varsity For Ladakh

1 February 2021
The Tribune

New Delhi: With having far-reaching ramifications, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a gas pipeline project for Jammu & Kashmir and a Central University in Ladakh, as the two newly carved-out Union territories (UTs) have received unchanged allocations of Rs 30,757 crore and Rs 5,958 crore, respectively, for financial year 2021-2022. In her Budget speech, the Finance Minister said, 'Our government has kept fuel supplies running across the country without interruption even during the Covid-19 lockdown period.' Noting that the government understands the 'crucial nature' of the energy sector in people's lives, Sitharaman said she was announcing a gas pipeline project in the UT of J&K, which would be taken up this year. Experts believe that the project will have a far-reaching impact on environment-sensitive Himalayan territory and lives of people. Once the project is implemented and gas is provided, wood burning in households would become a matter of past, they added. Intending to provide accessibility to higher education in Ladakh, which has a very difficult terrain and also has borders with China, Sitharaman has proposed that the UT will have a Central University in Leh. 'For accessible higher education in Ladakh, I propose to set up a Central University in Leh,' said Sitharaman while presenting the Budget in Parliament. The budgetary allocations to the two UTs in the form of Central assistance are broadly meant to help them meet their own internal resource gap. This will also have provisions for payment of subsidy for operating helicopter services in the administrations' effort to provide connectivity to remote areas.