Rajnath meets 20 delegations, reviews work on PMDP on Day 1 J&K visit
Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday interacted with more than 20 delegations from different walks of life on the first day of his four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh, who arrived here in the morning, said he had come with an open mind and was willing to meet anyone who helps the government find solutions to the state's problems.
Officials said around 24 delegations of social, trade, travel and business organisations from the Kashmir Valley called on Singh, whose visit is seen as a follow-up to the prime minister's Independence Day speech in which he had reached out to the people of the region.
Representatives of travel agents, hotel and restaurant owners, and shikara and house boat associations met the minister.
Singh also interacted with delegations representing different communities, including Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Shias, Gujjars, Bakarwals and Paharis.
Fruit growers and self-employed women also met the minister, the officials said.
The delegations apprised Singh of their problems and submitted memoranda to this effect. The meetings lasted more than three hours.
Singh also reviewed progress on the implementation of the Rs 80,000-crore Prime Minister's Development Package for Jammu and Kashmir and directed officials to expedite work.
At a review meeting chaired by the minister, officials said the Centre had already sanctioned Rs 62,599 crore, about 78 per cent of the package amount, and released Rs 22,000 crore.
The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, her deputy Nirmal Singh, state chief secretary B B Vyas and officials from the Union Home Ministry.
"The total cost of 63 projects under the PMDP is Rs 80,068 crore. The project includes assistance for rehabilitation of flood-affected people. Rs 1,200 crore was given for that purpose and the project is complete now," an official said.
The four-laning of the Chenani-Nashri section of the national highway has been completed. The project, which includes the longest road tunnel in India, cost Rs 781 crore.
The PMDP, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7 November 2015, covers 63 projects pertaining to 15 Union ministries.