Srinagar – The union minister of home affairs, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Saturday arrived in Kargil towards the first leg of his maiden 2-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. The visit assumes significance in the backdrop of recent reports of infiltration of six Chinese soldiers on horsebacks into Ladakh region which had ruffled the army brass.
He was received by the finance minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, the CAPD minister, Qamar Ali Akhoon, MoS Home, Nasir Aslam Wani, LAHDC chief executive councilor, Kachu Ahmad Ali Khan, chief secretary, Madhav Lal, and the director-general of police, Ashok Prasad.
Shinde met with the councilors of Kargil Hill Development Council and administration officials to review the security situation and developmental of the area as also the preparations made in view of the ensuing winter. The meeting was briefed about the damages caused to property due to flash floods last year and the steps taken to rebuild the damaged infrastructure, official sources said, adding 1451 schemes were damaged against which 990 had been restored.
In a power point presentation, the deputy commissioner said Rs 270 crore central funds were being utilized for execution of solar power plant and hydroelectric projects, Rs 50 crore on augmenting basic infrastructure and Rs 40 crore on Hill Council infrastructure besides other development schemes. The district has an annual plan of Rs 71.49 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Shinde said the UPA government had accorded priority to backward areas. He said funds for completing the Z-Tunnel, whose foundation stone was laid by Congress general-secretary, Rahul Gandhi, a couple of days ago, would be provided.
The minister said the centre had announced special concession in educational qualification and physical parameters for recruitment of youth in paramilitary forces for the people of Kargil and similar other areas for which a special drive would be launched in the near future.
Shinde is scheduled to visit Leh for overnight stay where he will also address Hill Development Council members. He is likely to visit some forward posts of the army in the region.
The union home minister is likely to visit the valley next week, sources said. (KNS)
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