Jammu, Jun 06 : Union Minister of Housing, Urban Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas Tuesday said that the final decision on the much awaited Gurdaspur-Jammu gas pipeline project will be taken by June as its required survey has been completed and the financing has been working out.
The Union Minister also said that a real estate summit is also on the cards in Srinagar shortly after the successful first-ever G-20 event in Jammu in December 2021.
Puri, who was in the town to highlight the nine-year achievements of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government, said the petrol and natural gas regulatory board has been evaluating the bids with regard to the Gurdaspur-Jammu gas pipeline project.
“The technical survey has been done and financing (of the project) is underway. The final decision will be taken this month only,” the Union Minister told media men in Jammu as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), adding pipeline will enhance the energy security of the region by facilitating the transportation of natural gas from Gurdaspur in Punjab to Jammu.
It provides a reliable and cleaner energy source to meet the growing energy demands of these regions. The minister said the gas pipeline in 2014 was about 14,000 km long but now has been further enhanced to next level.
“We have set a target of 33,500 km and have already managed 23,000 km,” he said, as per KNO.
Referring to the December 2021 first Real estate summit in Jammu, which opened the Union Territory to the country’s investors — who signed 39 MoUs worth nearly Rs 19,000 crore for the development of housing, hotel and commercial projects, Puri said the ministry is holding one more summit in the coming times in Srinagar.
The Minister said that after abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a change in the ground situation at a very fast pace.
Asked about the delay in the assembly elections, he said the region is going through a transition phase and is coming out of a prolonged insurgency.
“The progress is achieved because the security situation has improved and the concerned people will take the decision (on holding of much-awaited assembly elections),” he said
On regularisation of unauthorised colonies, he said this is a different issue and will be dealt with in the same way as other parts of the country.
About frequent hikes in petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices, the minister said India is importing 80 per cent crude oil and 50 per cent natural gas from outside to meet its requirements and therefore the prices entirely depended on international prices.
“Prime minister reduced the central excise duty twice in November 2021 and May 2022. The BJP-ruled states also joined in and provided concessions to the public but the states run by non-BJP parties made no concession,” he said, adding the fuel prices in BJP-ruled states are lower than the non-BJP-ruled states.
He also blamed the previous UPA government for the price hike and said the government in 2012 came up with a novel way to keep the prices down by coming out with oil bonds, putting pressure on the new government.
On freebies offered by several opposition parties to the people in their ruled states, he said there are two competing models before the public to decide.
“The Modi model of governance is development centric and includes ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, while the second model is of freebies model. It is basically the taxpayers’ money, which is being misused,” he said.
The office bearers and senior members of Chamber of Commerce & Industry under the Presidentship of Arun Gupta met Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Gupta requested the Union Minister to take up the issues pertaining to the local housing and urban development department with the concerned higher authorities for their early redressal.
Union Minister that there is urgent need to develop the commercial sites and residential colonies as since last 3 decades no such sites or colonies have been developed by the J&K Housing Board and JDA.
Earlier, Dr Puri shared the achievements of Midi Led Government. He said that despite facing COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, government provide dry ration to 80 crore people under PM Garreb Kalyan Ann Yojana, 12 Crore households got tap water, 3 crore homes constructed under PMAY, 12 crore toilets under Swachh Bharat have been constructed, 36 lakh street vendors got loan through Swanidhi yojana, 39.65 crore under Mudra Yojana, 20 crore cash transferred to females, 7351 crore to SC/ST beneficiaries, 5 times more Eklavya schools started, 48.27 crore Jan Dhan Accounts opened, 25 lakh crore transferred into beneficiary Jana Dhan accounts, 37 crore ayushman health cards issued, 2.86 crore homes electrified, crore of cylinders under Ujjwala Yojana provided to poor women, 5.74 rise registered in agriculture budget, 1 lakh crore to agriculture fund, 11 crore kissan beneficiary, 1500 percent increase in oil seed procurement at MSP, manifold increase in pulses procurement at MSP, total fertilizer subsidy increased by 500 percent, 20 lakh crore agriculture credit provided, 1.33 lakh crore under PM Fasal Bima Yojana, 93068 crore allocated PM Krishi Sinchai, ethanol procurement up from 38 crore to 434 crore. These are only a few of the achievements during the nine years of the Modi government”, he said.
In 2014, he said: “we were the 10th largest economy and in these 9 years of good governance, we have improved ourselves to be in the 5th position in the world; and we are poised to become the 3rd largest economy in the world in the coming few months.”
Stressing on the major development projects in Jammu & Kashmir, Puri said that Banihal -Qazigund tunnel has reduced the travel time by several hours, 2 AIIMS for better healthcare facilities, many new hospitals, tourism development in all the regions including religious tourism, 10,000 job creation in Jammu Lok Sabha segment, Ujjawala, social security scheme and many other beneficial schemes have contributed a lot to the development and welfare—(KNO)